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How do Christmas traditions differ around the world? See photos

For many people, Christmas is gift exchange, log cake, Turkey dinner.

But not everywhere.

In the annual series of CNBC Travel It highlights different Christmas celebrations around the world.


Austria, Germany, and other Alpine countries celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day in the first week of December, giving Christmas a spooky twist.

“Cramp Slauf” German for “Kramps Run,” it’s an annual parade usually held on December 5th or 6th in which participants dress up as half-goat, half-demon Krampus to scare onlookers. .

Krampus costumes often consist of a mask, horns, a coat made of sheep or goat hair, a chain, a bell, and a rod, according to Helen Bischnau, head of the Austrian National Tourist Office.

Jules Makobek | Afp | Getty Images

As legend has it, Krampus accompanies St. Nick on his journey to give gifts to well-behaved children, says Helen Bischnau, head of the Austrian National Tourism Board.

But the bad boy faces Krampus’ wrath. “The function of Krampus is to punish all bad things with a stick or a horse’s tail,” Bischnau said.

The atmosphere at Krampslauf is a mix of anticipation, excitement and some tension, Bischnau said.

“If you’re doing well all year round, there’s nothing to worry about,” she said.

Bischnau added that he was “always afraid of Krampus.”

“Now I like going to my hometown Krampuslauf because I know all the people behind the Krampus outfits. [which] It’s a little less scary for me. ”

Oaxaca, Mexico

Every December 23rd, participants Gather in Oaxaca’s main square Enter the delicately carved radish into the “Daikon Night” contest.

These are not bite-sized radishes. the size of a child’s foot.

“The artists spend the whole day chopping the competition radishes and keeping them in water all the time to keep them from drying out,” said Iliana Jimenez, who was born and raised in Oaxaca.

The winner of the radish carving contest will be awarded a small prize, said resident Ileana Jimenez.

Patricia Castellanos | Afp | Getty Images

“There’s a line of people waiting patiently to get their turn and admire the great work. [of] A craftsman from Oaxaca,” she said.

Jiménez said the atmosphere at the Zocalo, Oaxaca’s town square, is jubilant with live music, fireworks and crowds of locals and tourists.

“It’s a party that lifts people’s spirits.”

Gävle, Sweden

42 feet tall and over 7,000 poundshandmade giant straw goats are an annual Christmas spectacle in the Swedish city of Gävle.

Anna Karin Niemann, spokesperson for the task force to save goats, said it took more than 1,000 hours to build this year’s goat.

Gavle’s goats moved to a new location this year for the first time in 56 years, according to the city’s tourist guide Visit Gavle.

Mats Astland | Afp | Getty Images

Burning or destroying is a crime, but the Goat of Gäble numerous arson attacks Since the first one was built in 1966.

The arsonist who broke the last goat’s four-year survival record was sentenced to six months in prison and paid 109,000 Swedish kronor ($10,450) in damages. Swedish press.

Niemann said Sweden’s priceless goat figurine is made of straw, despite its flammability.

“He means a lot to us in Gävle and is a big part of the Christmas spirit,” she said.

According to Mark Wolters, creator of the popular travel YouTube channel, miniature versions of goats make fun souvenirs and Christmas decorations for travelers. Walters World.

If you are curious about the state of the goat this year, live webcam.

Ukraine via Krakow, Poland

Stalls at the Ukrainian Christmas Market in Krakow, Poland.

Omar Marquez | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Tariq Arghaz, head of the United Nations refugee agency, said the Christmas market sales provided income for the refugees, mostly women, to make a living.

The market was attended by locals, tourists and the Ukrainian community, he said.

It was an opportunity to showcase “great talent within the refugee community,” Arghaz said, adding that the idea for the event was given to UN officials by one of the residents of the assembly center with a rock “intricately painted”. He added that when he was born, it is a lodging facility that houses many refugees.


Between festive seasonHouses in the Philippines are decorated with star-shaped lanterns called ‘parol’. travel blogger said Kutch Umdap, Born in the Philippines, raised in the Philippines.

Parols were originally used to light the Simbang Gabi tradition, a nine-day pre-dawn mass from December 16 to 24, and the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, called the Misa de Gallo, Umandap said. Stated.

Teachers, students and parents hold Christmas lanterns made from recycled materials during a sustainable Christmas celebration campaign at an elementary school in Quezon City, Philippines.

Ted Aljeev | Afp | Getty Images

“Now lanterns are used as decorations,” said Umandap. “Parol symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and hope.”

About 90% of the people living in the Philippines identify as Christian Most are Catholic, according to Harvard Theological Seminary. The Philippines is the only country in Asia where Christianity is the state religion.

Many Filipinos use materials such as shells, glass, and LED lights to make their paroles brighter and more colorful.

Umandap, who now lives in Europe, says the lanterns remind her of her hometown.

“Look at them, they [give] I hope that whatever difficulties I encounter, I can overcome them,” she said.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Brazilians love to party, said Bruna Venturinelli, author of the Brazilian blog i heart brazilThat’s why their Christmas parade, she said, is “contagiously fun” filled with “lots of laughter and joy.”

Dressed-up characters dance with Santa and his elves and interact with children in the crowd, she said.

Brazilian Christmas parades usually feature characters from Korvatunturi, a mountain region in Lapland where Santa Claus is said to live.

Chris Ferga | Null Photo | Getty Images

“There are multiple Christmas parades throughout the district, such as the shopping mall parade pictured, organized by the city council or a private agency to promote the start of the festive season.

“If I’m in Brazil at Christmas, I’ll take my nephew and niece to the Christmas parade and we have so much fun! …they also write letters to Santa and are well behaved throughout the year. I take the opportunity to say that the last part is not 100% true.”

In Brazil, many people celebrate Christmas Eve with their families. chester chickenshe said.

On Christmas Day, she said, people gather again to eat lunch leftovers while listening to Brazilian music.


The modern tradition of writing letters to Santa may have been started by Americans Fanny LongfellowWife of the poet Henry Wadsworth, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

But at first Santa wrote letters to the children, not the other way around.

According to the magazine, Longfellow wrote to her three children about their behavior over the past year.

In one of Longfellow’s letters dating back to 1853, “Santa” said:[Y]As with sour and bitter fruits, you picked up some bad words.

A child writes a letter to Santa Claus in Fort Worth, Texas.

Richard Rodriguez | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

As the custom grew, parents began placing letters from Santa by the fireplace or in their socks, and children responded to them.

Today, the tradition of writing letters to Santa has expanded beyond the home.

In the United States, the United States Postal Service Operation Santa Children and families in need can anonymously write to Santa what they want for Christmas. According to the USPS, these letters are “adopted” by people across the country who purchase and ship the requested gifts to their families.

The British postal service, Royal Mail, will provide personalized replies to children who have written to ‘Father Christmas’.

However, some parents use other means to contact Santa. app and even balloons.

2021, Four-year-old twins in Kansas, USA, released balloons containing letters to Santa.A couple living in Louisiana found one and, with the help of donations, granted the twins Christmas wishes that included giving them puppies.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/23/how-do-christmas-traditions-vary-around-the-world-see-the-photos.html How do Christmas traditions differ around the world? See photos

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