DAA Daily

Christmas Traditions Around The World

By: Patricia Abdo, Arts and Entertainment, The Pawprint


In Ukraine Christmas is celebrated on January 7 and people wear traditional clothes and walk through the streets singing carols. Then they prepare a meal called kutya and throw a spoonful at the ceiling. If it sticks there then there will be a good harvest during the year. 


On Christmas in  Poland, families share oplatek (an unleavened religious wafer), each person breaks a  piece and each person wishes Merry Christmas, and Dinner may not begin until the first star appears in the night.


On Christmas Sinterklaas  translated from Dauch Santa Claus come to kids  at night. Kids put a shoe by the chimney or back door and wake up on Christmas morning and find sweets like gingerbread men, marzipan, and chocolate letters inside.


In Austria there is a legend that a devil like creature called Krampus comes to kids. Children are asked to make a list of good and bad things they did throughout the year. Good children get sweets, nuts, and apples. Bas children worry about  what Krampus will bring to them on Christmas. 

In Switzerland families made advent calendars with small gives each day throughout september. The biggest gifts are given on Christmas Eve.


In Sweden a giant goat called Gavle goat is built every Christmas season. It is  42 feet high, 23 feet wide, and weighs 3.6 tons. Each year the goat is built on the same spot. Fans of the goat can watch the livestream from the first Sunday of December until it will be taken down after the New Year.


In Japan there is a tradition that families on Christmas head to a fast food restaurant called Kentucky Fried Chicken. People order boxes with chicken months in advance so that they enjoy it on Christmas.


Iceland celebrates 13 days before Chrstmas. Each night children are visited by Yule lads. Kids place shoes by the window, and the next morning they will receive candy if they are good children or rotten potatoes if they are bad. 


In Barbados on Christmas people bake ham and decorate it with sorrel glaze or pineapple. They also make rum cake and a jug jug which is combining guinea corn flour salt, pigeon peas, and herbs.

South Africa

In South Africa families together marinated steaks and boerewors sausages. A pudding with custard is also prepared. The Christmas tree is decorated with a variety of decorations including hand-beaded African ornaments. 

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