Most of the Christmas celebrations around the United States are relatively similar. Christmas lights are put up by the millions, lighting up neighborhoods and downtowns for more than a month straight. Grown bearded men impersonating Santa Claus sit in malls and various other Christmas fairgrounds to accept the wishes of children for the holiday season and, theoretically, passing along those requests to Jolly St. Nick himself. Family congregates together, and a lot of food is eaten. But Christmas is a worldwide holiday and people all over the world celebrate it with unique traditions. Below are some of the ways others celebrate the yuletide spirit around the globe.
People in Iceland are known to exchange books on Christmas Eve and then spend the rest of the night reading and eating chocolate. Considering the entire island is almost pitch black the whole Christmas season, it doesn’t seem like such a bad tradition.
On the Marshall Islands in the tropical part of the Pacific Ocean, people stockpile presents all year long and then, on Christmas day, form teams and have song and dance competitions. Those who win get more presents than others who don’t.
Greenland has the Christmas dinner that takes the longest to prepare. It consists of taking seal skin and stuffing it with a 500 auks, a seabird, then sewing it up and letting it ferment for seven months. Sounds delicious, right?
While most kids in America will leave cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve, this isn’t exactly what is done in Ireland. Instead, a mince pie and a pint of Guinness is left out for Santa, which is probably much appreciated with all the work he has to do.
For many people in Japan, the traditional Christmas dinner isn't the turkey and stuffing, among other dishes, that are served in America. Instead, it's Kentucky Fried Chicken, and it's so popular that reservations have to be made to eat at KFCs around the country.
Every Christmas in the Czech Republic, many single women will follow a tradition to see if they will get married the following year. They will stand outside of their home, with their backs to the door and take off one shoe. Then they will throw that shoe backward over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with its heel pointed towards the door, they will remain single. If the toe points towards the door, they might want to start making wedding preparations.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with starting new traditions either, like heading to Papa Lopez Mexican Cantina for delicious Tex-Mex and margaritas. We pride ourselves on being family friendly throughout the year, but especially over the holidays, where on Mondays and Tuesdays kids eat for free. We look forward to seeing you and Happy Holidays!