Celebrating Difference this Christmas
We believe that difference should be celebrated, so this Christmas, we are exploring 5 of the many different ways people celebrate the festive season around the world.
1) The Yule Lads, Iceland
In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 tricksy troll-like characters come out to play in Iceland. The Yule Lads visit the children across the country over this time, as children place their best shoes by the window in the hope of receiving a gift.
For the good children, the Yule Lads leave gifts, whilst the naughty ones get rotting potatoes... we know what we'd rather have!
They are also known to be extra mischievous and cause lots of trouble.
You can tell by their names... for example Þvörusleikir (Spoon-Licker), Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-Swiper) and Gluggagægir (Window-Peeper).
2) Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan. Although some families give gifts and put up lights during the season, Christmas remains largely a novelty.
However, a new tradition has emerged in recent years, involving none other than KFC. Whereas we're used to a big turkey and all the trimmings, many Japanese people enjoy a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for their Christmas dinner.
The special Festive Menu includes a standard Christmas-themed bucket to a premium roast-bird feast.
3) Krampus, Austria
Unlike the big cuddly Santa Claus, Austrian tradition involves St. Nicholas' evil accomplice, Krampus, a beast-like demon creature that roams city streets frightening children and punishing the bad ones.
Whilst St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls with presents, Krampus is believed to capture the naughty children and whisk them away in his sack.
We're on our best behaviour...
4) Hiding Brooms, Norway
Perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms.
It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. To this day, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen.
5) Rollerskating, Venezuela
If Father Christmas has ever left you a pair of roller-skates under the tree, they could come in very handy in Venezuela.
Every Christmas Eve in Caracas, the city's residents head to church in the early morning, except they do so on roller skates! This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety, before heading home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of ‘tamales’ (a wrap made out of cornmeal dough and stuffed with meat, then steamed).
We'd like to join!
Although they're all very different, these Christmas traditions from around the world are what make the season so special, just like you.
What are your Christmas traditions?