For many of us, Christmas is a special time of the year. Christmas is about traditions, but what you may not think about, is that these traditions will differ a lot around the world. Many unique festive traditions from other countries are actually quite cool. You will be familiar with the dazzling spruce tree in New York’s Rockefeller Center, but did you know about the pit-roasted hangi feast in New Zealand?
There are many cultures across the globe, which means everyone uniquely experiences Christmas. You can learn more about Christmas worldwide by getting advice from travel experts, some of which we have gathered in this article. Let’s take a look.
You Get To Experience Something Unique
Firstly, exploring festive traditions from other countries gives you the chance to experience something unique. If you are based in the UK, then you may have grown up dreaming of exploring Christmas in New York. Christmas in New York City is a glamorous affair, lit with twinkling lights and perfumed by the scent of chestnuts roasting on a street-corner cart.
The highlight is, of course, the towering tree at Rockefeller Center. The ceremonial switch-on happens at the end of November, but visitors can admire it up until early January, from a range of different spots, including the ice rink.
However, there are arguably much more unique Christmas experiences worldwide. If you were wanting something cosier, then Iceland at Christmas could be a great shout. The Christmas holiday here is known as Jól, and festivities kick off a bit earlier here than in many other countries. It starts on the 12th day of December.
At 6 pm on Aðfangadagur, also known as Christmas Eve, church bells ring across the country. More secular families begin their celebratory meal. The feast might include smoked lamb, ptarmigan, turkey, or pork, and it is often served with a flatbread known as laufabrauð, followed by gingerbread.
The cosiness comes the love of books in Iceland. Many Icelandic books are published at Christmas time, and it’s common to give everyone a book to open on Christmas Eve for them to enjoy. The whole country settles in for a snug night spent quietly reading with a cup of hot chocolate.
You Can Taste Great Food
For many, Christmas is all about turkey roast dinner. This is not the case for the rest of the world. In Japan, for example, they eat KFC for Christmas dinner. Kurisumasa ni wa kentakkii was a Japanese KFC marketing campaign in 1974. Kentucky for Christmas became popular very quickly. This marketing campaign was very popular and has now led to KFC being the dinner choice for Christmas day. The demand can be so high that locals order their food more than a month in advance.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, with the rest of the world enjoying unique food that you can’t even dream about.