Different cultures all over the world celebrate the holiday season in their own way. Celebrations are a fantastic example of culture, unity, and more. For a glimpse into the lives of others live in what feels like far away exotic lands, take a look at how they celebrate the holiday season:
1. Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines – This festival is a spectacle that attracts onlookers all over the globe. Eleven barangays (villages) take part in the Festival and competition is fierce as everyone pitches in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. Originally, the lantern creations were smaller made with origami paper and lit by a candle. Today the lanterns are huge in size, colorful and an extravagant show of creative spirit.
2. Gävle Goat, Sweden – Ever heard of a yule goat? Everyone in Sweden has. A large, sparkling goat is built in the castle square, lighting up the night for on-lookers. But the twinkling lights aren’t the only thing brightening the light sky. It’s tradition for on-lookers to attempt to burn it down. It’s successfully been burned down a total of 26 times – the most recent destruction was in 2013. If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Visit Gavle website through a live video stream.
3. Krampus, Austria – A little more on the intimidating side for holiday traditions. If you were a bad kid the punishment is far more intensive than a few lumps of coal in your stocking. St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack.
4. Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan – In the states Kentucky Fried Chicken is a basic American fast food staple. But in Japan it’s a holiday tradition to fill up on the stuff for dinner — Christmas remains largely a novelty in the country.
5. The Yule Lads, Iceland – Troll like characters reign surprise in Iceland’s holiday traditions. The Yule Lads visit the children across the country over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. They place their shoes outside the door and the naught kids get rotten potatoes and the good kids get some small gifts. Clad in traditional Icelandic costume, these fellas are pretty mischievous, and are known for getting into some trouble. But that’s what makes them fun for the locals.
6. Norway – Yet another tradition on the dark side of the holidays those in Norway hide in their bedrooms as it was once believed that witches would look in the homes of locals for brooms to ride on in the night. To this day many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house, to stop them being stolen.
7. Day of the Little Candles, Colombia -. In honor of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception, people place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, balconies and front yards.