In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. The winter solstice is a surprisingly popular winter solstice experience: over 28,000 people applied for the lottery in 2018. Amateur and professional teams race canoes on the icy surface of the St. Lawrence River. Yule Craft Projects for the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World. In Egypt and other Coptic countries, Christmas Eve is celebrated with an evening mass. To show how many cultures celebrate the darkest months in different ways, here’s a list of 25 Unique Winter Traditions Around The World You Might Not Know About. Winter Celebrations Learn about unique traditions, celebrations, and holidays that occur around the world during December and January. Instead, a sprig of basil is wrapped around a wooden cross to protect the home from the Killantzaroi, which are negative spirits that only appear during the twelve days after Christmas. Winter solstice celebrations in the United Kingdom have been resurgent in recent years, with caroling, costumes and processions by torchlight. Coptic and Orthodox Christian traditions are somewhat different, but they celebrate Christmas on the same day. Whether you’re looking for tips on organization, travel, parenting, fitness, relationships, school, or your career, our team of expert writers is here to help. In ancient days, the celebration focused on the birth of the light-god Mithra. The Winter Solstice occurs around December 21. Hygge is best explained as a sense of coziness, comfort, and complete relaxation, such as what you’d experience while enjoying a good conversation around a winter fireplace with friends. Each time, the wife begs him to spare the tree, saying, "Oh no, I am sure this tree will be as heavy with fruit next spring as my fingers are with dough today." Twitter. Today, it isn’t an offici… Gifts, feasting, and traditional cultural stories add to the celebratory atmosphere. This day commemorates the time when, according to Christian lore, the Three Wise Men arrived to give baby Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts. Winter … Traditional dances done in masks and costumes, along with songs and prayers, are performed to welcome the kachinas, or beneficial spirits that visit people during this time. On the other hand, if a child is naughty, he or she can expect to find a lump of coal left behind by La Befana. In Tasmania, naked revelers celebrate with an icy plunge into the Derwent River. The top winter trip ideas Get stuffed: Christmas dinners around the world The 9 best holiday celebrations Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter . Here are some of the wonderful and unique ways the winter solstice is celebrated around the world. La Noche de Rábanos, The Night of the Radishes – Mexico Winter Solstice Celebrations Around the World The Winter Solstice is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. To celebrate, people wear elaborate costumes modeled after bears, goats, and more, and parade through the town while singing, dancing, and performing skits. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season. It is the shortest day of the year. On Coptic Christmas Day, feasts commemorate the holiday, with traditional dishes of mackerel and tilapia on the menu. There are others such as Boxing Day, Omisoka, St. Lucia Day, St. Nicholas Day, Ramadan, … Christmas is typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. Still, it’s a feeling that has a specific association with winter in Denmark, where the term comes from. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice. I asked ten of my most trusted friends around the world about their favorite winter traditions in their home cities, and it put me in a wonderful, festive, globally inspired mood. By submitting your email, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In fact, the pagan commemoration of Winter Solstice (also called “Yule”) is one of the oldest celebrations in the world. Both China and its East Asian neighbors, including South Korea and Japan, mark the annual Winter Solstice (aka the year’s shortest day) with Dongzhi, a … Children also open their presents on this day, which are delivered by the three kings rather than Santa Claus. Bundle up embrace the cold with these super cozy (and family-friendly) winter festivals found around the world. As you can imagine, this day is celebrated with lots and lots of candles. Even Christmas isn’t the same all over the world. All Rights Reserved. Some countries have particular celebrations to mark the solstice. Yalda is viewed traditionally as the victory of light over dark, and the birthday of the sun god Mithra. In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. When the celebration ends, the carefully crafted costumes can be stored and then re-done for the next year’s Malanka. A multi-day festival called Pongal falls around the time of the winter solstice, and it's when rice is boiled in milk and presented as offerings to the gods, followed by the family cows, and then the humans who live in the home. While the individual celebrations and traditions may differ, they all have in common a look forward into the new year, a light in the middle of winter, and a reason to celebrate. The night before, on Christmas Eve, is really the time of the big feast – and leftovers are consumed the next day. Children leave out glasses of milk for the Juulnisse, which are elves that live in peoples' homes, and for Julemanden, the Danish version of Santa Claus. Pinterest. It is celebrated around the world by people of African descent. Although holiday celebrations vary by location and preference, we can all come together to appreciate this season that is so unlike any other. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun. HanukkahFor eight days each November or December, Jews light a special candleholder called a menorah. Now she travels the world, searching, and delivering gifts to all the children. In Scotland, the big holiday is that of Hogmanay. Between the feasts and costume preparation, this holiday can bring a whole village together. photo: AlHIkesAZ via flickr . Yalda Night celebrations today involve getting together with family and staying up all night (or at least very late). But other places and cultures around the world put on a pretty spectacular show in wintertime, whether it be to welcome in the cold, perform rituals, do … Many of them come from a blend of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and celebration in the winter is often a mix of many different elements. People also pray for good luck in the coming year and acknowledge the end of the harvest season. One fun custom is that of Glogg parties, which involve the drinking of Glogg, a mulled wine made from Madeira, and the eating of lots of baked treats. In this post, I've included a video which highlights 12 of the celebrations around the world during the months of December and January. The idea of decorating a Christmas tree didn't appear in Greece until the early nineteenth century, when King Otto arrived from Germany, where the custom was already in practice. The winter solstice celebrations at Newgrange in Ireland are among the most difficult to attend in the world. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. Real hygge is always free. While many countries and cultures have their own ways of celebrating Christmas Day, Coptic Christmas is actually celebrated on a different day altogether. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Holiday traditions from around the world include floral abundance, door-to-door witches and more (like 13 Santas!). This pre-celebration lets friends and family members get together to set up their lighting displays and get in the holiday spirit. One of the largest festivals of the world is the Quebec Winter Carnival held in Canada. This book talks about all of the different winter holidays around the world. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. Some of the best winter vacation spots are hiding right in plain sight: explore majestic ice sculptures in China, watch twinkling lights in the Netherlands, compete in winter games in … Traditional Three Kings Day celebrations involve a feast with “king’s bread” for dessert, which has a figure of baby Jesus hidden inside. Most of us are familiar with wintry traditions—slipping and sliding down icy slopes, burning our tongues with cocoa that’s 30 degrees too hot, and opening gifts from a fat, bearded guy in a red suit who somehow thinks that a skinny chimney is the best way to make a grand entrance. It marks the last day of the Persian month of Azar. The man relents, the wife bakes the turta, and the trees are spared for another year. It’s nice if you’re teaching Holidays around the world. It’s sometimes known as Lunar New Year, and the celebration lasts for about 15 days. People all over the world participate in festivals and celebrations. Like Yalda Night, this celebration focuses on the return of the sun after the longest night of the year. There's a tradition known as "first-footing", in which the first person to cross a home's threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year – as long as the guest is dark-haired and male. 10 Weird Holiday Traditions Celebrated Around The World By Maria Perez On 12/23/17 at 10:00 AM EST A holiday tradition in Japan is eating KFC Chicken on December 25. There's even a special parade to honor the cattle, and they are allowed to graze wherever they choose. It is the shortest day of the year. Coptic Christmas is mainly associated with Egypt, but this version of Christmas can also be found in other places, like Ethiopia, Ukraine, and Russia. However, some have compared this street festival to Mardi Gras for its rowdy and masquerade-like traditions. Hygge isn’t a specific tradition or celebration: it’s really a feeling—one that doesn’t have a direct English translation. And the festival usually held in February. Celebrating this holiday involves going home to be with your family. According to folklore, on the night before the feast of the Epiphany in early January, Befana flies around on her broom, delivering presents. However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. Occurring only six weeks before the Chinese New Year, the festival has its own significance for many people, and is believed to be the day when everyone gets one year older. Chinese New Year falls in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar. It is a little long and more complex if your audience is a younger group of children (younger than 6 or 7). Maybe you take the chance to go out with old friends that come back to town for the holidays. In countries below the equator, December falls during the warmer season, but the winter solstice, six months later, is still seen as a time to celebrate. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. Baba Noel, or Father Christmas, leaves gifts like kahk, a sweet pastry. All over the world, people spend the colder months of the year celebrating a variety of holidays. In addition to candles, electric lights and paper lanterns are used to light up the night. Three Kings Day (or Día de los Reyes) is primarily celebrated in Latin America and Spain and is also called the Feast of the Epiphany. Soyal is another solstice celebration, but this one belongs to the native Zuni and Hopi tribes of North America. A chill is in the air, and winter is being celebrated all over the globe. The Ukrainian New Year celebration, called Malanka, falls in mid-January. You might be more familiar with the winter solstice as the day with the shortest amount of sunlight and the longest night of the year. The best and most beautiful objects are selected to represent African culture as family, community, and heritage are celebrated. But in Iran, Yalda Night makes the solstice unique. In Iran, for example, it is known as Yalda Night and is typically celebrated with family and friends. The country's Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. Winter Celebrations Around the World. The Persian festival Yalda, or Shab-e Yalda is a celebration of the winter solstice in Iran that started in ancient times. Additionally, only 60 people are able to enter each year for the winter solstice celebration. While there are many Chinese New Year celebrations in the U.S., there’s much more to this holiday than the parades you typically see here. Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. If you’re all about Christmastime, seeing red and green decorations and holiday lights everywhere probably sparks good feelings. Use Up Your 10 Pounds of Rice with These 10 Delicious Recipes, Tired of Winter? In China, only about two percent of the population observes Christmas as a religious holiday, although it is gaining in popularity as a commercial event. Ceremonies during the celebration signify bringing the sun back to illuminate the earth, and the entire Soyal lasts for 16 days. The Chinese celebration of the winter solstice, Dong Zhi (which means “Winter Arrives”) welcomes the return of longer days and the corresponding increase in positive energy in the year to come. Although the Northern Hemisphere’s winter technically starts on December 21st, people tend to think of December as a winter month, as Christmas looms on the horizon. This festival has ancient roots but celebrates something that still feels meaningful: the return of longer days. All across the globe, people get together for rituals and holidays, to share time together. In Colombia, the Christmas season kicks off on December 7th with Día de las Velitas or Day of the Little Candles. Artists from all around the world compete in an eye-catching snow sculpture competition. The person who finds the figurine has to cook the tamales for February’s Candlemas celebration. Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the winter solstice falls in June, and people may use native plants like Mallee roots, Tasmanian oak, and eucalyptus to make a family Yule log. The holiday name is derived from a phrase that refers to the first harvest in Swahili. 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However, for those that do celebrate the full 12 days, the celebration culminates on January 6th with Three Kings Day. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun. Give Your Home a Tropical Vibe, Hard Kombucha Is a 2021 Trend According to Instacart, 5 Easy and Efficient Stretches You Can Do While Watching TV, This Tiny Symbol Tells You When Your Makeup Expires. Burning the Clocks, Brighton, England People gather for … LifeSavvy is where you learn new skills for a better life. The Day of the Little Candles heralds the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which celebrates the Virgin Mary. People all over the world participate with festivals and celebrations. Learn about the holidays that occur around the world during December and January. Facebook. At this time of the year, the days are often cold, dark, and long (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway). The celebration may have begun as a harvest festival, when farmers and fisherman took time off to celebrate with their families. Although the Northern Hemisphere’s winter technically starts on December 21st, people tend to think of December as a winter month, as Christmas looms on the horizon. Families hang decorations in red, the traditional color of the holiday, and give gifts of cash wrapped in red packages. The Winter Solstice occurs Sunday, December 21 this year. This list doesn’t come close to covering all of the winter holidays celebrated around the world. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. It’s also known as Soyaluna or Soyala. Or maybe you take some time to deep-clean your closet and donate what you no longer need. The term caught on in the U.S. and Britain a few years ago, sparking a wealth of articles, how-to pieces, and products that promised to show you how to hygge. Category: Travel. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, articles, and more. In Denmark, Christmas Eve dinner is a big cause for celebration. On Hanukkah, many Jews also eat special potato pancakes called latkes, sing songs, and spin a top called a dreidel to win chocolate coins, nuts, or raisins. Traditional poetry and myths may be read, while fruits and nuts are served along with tea. Southeast of … Although it happens in winter, you may also hear Chinese New Year referred to as the Spring Festival because it marks the end of the coldest part of the year. Although Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. In the U.S., many people don’t really celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, although we may sing about them in Christmas carols. In Colombia, the Christmas season kicks off on December 7th with Día de las Velitas or Day of the Little Candles. This lends itself perfectly well to traditions, from the small and personal to the large and cultural. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. Read on to learn about some of our favorite traditions from all over the world. The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. Often there are special foods and lots of light to brighten the darkness of winter! Winter Celebrations Around the World (Created after the CreativeCurriculum concept)This study discusses the similarities of the different celebrations that take place during winter all around the world.The purpose of the study is less to celebrate each festivity, but rather to show children how peop. No matter where you are around the world, December is a time for celebration. The winter solstice, or the longest night of the year, can feel significant even if you don’t celebrate a solstice holiday. People often shop at outdoor markets in the days leading up to New Year’s Day, and also thoroughly clean their houses in preparation for the new year. Out of the house, traditional dances, fireworks, and parades mark the New Year celebration. The celebration is heavy on symbolism and humor and loosely tied around kicking off the spring season. A key aspect of the Chinese New Year is ancestor worship, and paintings and portraits are brought out and honored in the family's home. It is steeped in tradition. Fascinating Winter Traditions, Celebrations and Customs Around the World. The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support LifeSavvy. However, Scandinavians argue that hygge is a feeling, not a product, aesthetic, or lifestyle, and they find its commoditization strange and unnecessary. It is said that the three Magi stopped on their way to Bethlehem and asked her for shelter for a night. While anyone can feel hygge at any time of year, winter lends itself especially well to this feeling. Much like Santa Claus, she leaves candy, fruit, and small gifts in the stockings of children who are well-behaved throughout the year. The Kwanzaa celebration lasts for one week. India's Hindu population typically observes this time of year by placing clay oil lamps on the roof in honor of the return of the sun. WhatsApp. The festival’s events include a winter amusement park, with attractions such as; Skiing, snow rafting, ice sculptures, snow sled slides and outdoor shows. Top 5 Winter Celebrations Around the World. 8 winter traditions from around the world. Hearth fires burn for several days between December 25 and January 6, and rather than swapping gifts on Christmas Day, Greeks typically exchange presents on St. Basil’s Day, which is January 1. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. She rejected them, but later realized she'd been quite rude. While Christmas is the most popular winter holiday in the U.S., the world is full of diverse ways of celebrating winter, including some unexpected and amusing customs and traditions. The following festivals have no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar, and may be aligned with moon cycles or other calendars. Tiny lights illuminate buildings and homes across the country. Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. Coptic Christmas, also called Orthodox Christmas, is based on the Orthodox calendar, which places Christmas on or near January 7th each year. In fact, the Lunar New Year travel season is one of the busiest holiday travel seasons in the world. On Hogmanay, which is observed on December 31, festivities typically spill over into the first couple of days of January. But the drawn-out winter holiday season can feel exhausting if the holidays aren’t your favorite thing (or you don’t celebrate them). Gifts are exchanged with family and friends, and baksheesh, or charity, is given to the poor and needy. Holiday Celebrations Around the World Holiday Celebrations Around the World ... (The story is particularly appealing to Swedes, whose country is dark during much of the winter.) Marking the longest night and shortest day of the year, the hibernal solstice is an astronomical event that takes place when the Earth reaches … However, the main winter festival in China is the New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. Many countries around the world have some kind of festival or celebration for the winter solstice or beginning of the New Year—either celebrating Christmas or another winter holiday, celebrating the coming of spring and return of more daylight, or gathering with friends and family to tough out the harsh winters. Here are a few of the winter traditions that get people through the dark half of the year in the rest of the world. Author: Kate Johnson. The darkest part of the year has always been a time for winter celebration. The winter holidays are celebrated in many ways around the world. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. They do it to remember an ancient miracle in which one day's worth of oil burned for eight days in their temple. Here’s what you need to know about how pagans marked the shortest day of the year, and other Winter Solstice rituals and traditions. People make nativity scenes that show baby Jesus as having been born in a cave, not a manger. Recently, it's become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. SO, Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Dongzhi, or one of the many other holiday celebrations around the… ... > 11 Winter Holiday Traditions from Around the World. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. Still, even if you’re not into Christmas, or New Year’s, or the rest of it, you probably have some personal winter traditions that ground you in the season. The cows are venerated during this time, and they are decorated with floral garlands and their horns are painted. 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