The Blossom Shop - Charlotte, NC

The Blossom Shop - Charlotte, NC

Posted by Blossom Shop Florist on December 7, 2020 | Last Updated: January 11, 2021 Christmas Flowers Holiday Decor Holiday Flowers Holiday Gifts

Wonderfully Whimsical Global Christmas Traditions

Each country has its own way of celebrating Christmas. Most traditions have originated from old legends from many years ago, while others are more recent yet still quirky and unusual…to us anyway. Sure, we have a jolly Santa Clause who has elves and flying reindeer and that’s perfectly normal for us. Experience some interesting Christmas customs from other cultures to discover some odd yet wonderful ways of celebrating Christmas.

large cat made from lights

Iceland – Yule Cat

A Christmas tradition in Iceland revolves around a special, large cat that roams the street one night each year on Christmas Eve. However, this is no cute kitty. According to legend, the Yule Cat is a towering, fierce creature that looks for kids who have not received any new articles of clothing for Christmas and eats them! Be thankful for those Christmas socks – they may have just saved your life!

Krampus

Austria – Krampus

On December 5th in Austria, kids need to beware of the Krampus, a half-man, half-goat Christmas demon. Rattling chains and bells, the Krampus stalks the streets for naughty children and then either beats them with sticks or stashes them in a sack to take with it down into the underworld. However, if you survive until the next day, St. Nichols’s Day, then you will be given treats and presents.

Christmas Log

Catalonia – Tio De Nadal

A Christmas tradition in Catalonia, Spain, is to give children a small log that has 4 legs, a painted-on face, and a Santa hat for them to care for leading up to Christmas Day. They have to tend to Tio log by feeding it and keeping it warm. If the kids have done a good job of this, then they get to beat the log with a stick while singing songs which will make the log “poop” out gifts.

Pickle Ornament

Germany – Christmas Pickle

If you’re in Germany during the holidays, don’t be surprised if you see a pickle ornament in Christmas trees. It is a tradition in Germany to get a pickle ornament and hide it deep within the Christmas tree, and, then, on Christmas Eve, all the present children get to search the tree for the pickle. The first one to see it will receive a special gift from St. Nicholas himself.

Webbed Christmas Tree

Ukraine – Spider Web

A folktale in Ukraine tells the story of a widow and her children who lived in a small hut where a pine cone had fallen through the roof and taken root. As it started to grow, the children were excited about having a beautiful tree by Christmas. However, on Christmas Eve, the family was too poor to decorate the tree which made the children very sad. Hearing their sobs in the night, the spiders in the home decided to cover the tree with elaborate and decorative webs. When the children awoke on Christmas Day they were overjoyed with what they saw. Then, when the first light of dawn on Christmas Day hit the spider webs, they turned gold and silver. The family was never poor again. Today, Ukrainians regard the spider as a symbol of good luck and fortune and decorate their Xmas trees with fake spider webs.

KFC Japan Santa

Japan – KFC

It has only been in the last few decades that Christmas has been celebrated in Japan. Similar to the U.S., they exchange cards and gifts and have a large family meal. Unlike here in the states, though, the Christmas feast in Japan consists of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thanks to a hugely successful marketing campaign in 1974 by KFC, millions of Japanese enjoy some of the Colonel’s best on Christmas Day.

Christmas witch

Italy – Christmas Witch

Instead of Santa delivering gifts to kids who have been good throughout the year, Italy has Befana – the Christmas Witch. On January 5th, (Epiphany Eve), Befana travels around Italy, on a broom rather than a sleigh, of course, and fills the socks of well-behaved children with treats and gifts. For those not so well behaved, they will be delivered only a lump of coal.

Regardless of a particular Christmas custom someone celebrates, you can be assured that fresh flowers always make a great gift.