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Christmas traditions

Unusual Christmas traditions

Christmas traditions are not the same for everyone, even if a lot of us know about the decoration of the tree or Santa’s visit. 

Christmas isn’t celebrated by everyone in the world. But even those that do celebrate it have adopted some interesting varieties of Christmas traditions. 

With that in mind let’s have a look at some unusual Christmas traditions. 

Christmas Spider – a Ukrainian Christmas tradition

Most Christmas traditions come from legends and stories so this is a story about a spider covering the Christmas tree with a spider web. A family with less means has no way to get decorations for the tree. 

A spider covers the tree with a web on Christmas Eve and in the morning the light shines on it and it looks draped in silvery tinsel. It’s a little story that reflects the suffering and strife but also shows a silver lining. 

Candy in shoes – a German Christmas tradition

Close to Christmas at the beginning of December German kids prepare their shoes to receive sweets from St. Nicholas. Usually, kids will put their boots outside their bedroom door, close to the door to the outside or even close to a fireplace. 

Parents use this to convince their children to be nice in the year or even clean their boots for the candy. It’s a nice way for families to get into the Christmas spirit before the actual event. 

La Befana – Christmas traditions in Italy

Witches and Christmas seem like a very odd combination but not in Italy. Befana is a celebration that occurs after Christmas on January 6 and it’s a national holiday. They base this holiday on a story that states the 3 wise men invited a witch-looking woman to join them on their pilgrimage to baby Christ. 

She didn’t want to go at first but then reconsidered and started following the 3 wise men. The witch or “Befana” could not reach the wise men and didn’t find baby Christ so she gifted the toys she was carrying to other children. 

So Italians celebrate this holiday by gifting sweets to children and drinking wine as adults with a panettone. 

Mari Lwyd – Welsh Christmas tradition

Mari Lwyd is a wassailing folk tradition that happens around Christmas time in parts of Wales. 

Picture a horse skull mounted on a pole with a white sheet underneath that goes from house to house to knock at doors. The occupants open the door and the horse along with its entourage begins singing and thus asking to be let inside. 

The occupants refuse but then relent and they give the group cakes and ale. After that, it’s on to the next house. Its origins are varied but some recent speculations revolve around the mare that was kicked out of the stable so that baby Jesus could be born.

In conclusion

No matter what place you live in that celebrates Christmas there are bound to be some unusual traditions. Most are from legends and fairy tales and adapted into the Christian doctrine. 

As odd as many of them might seem, it’s these interesting colorful Christmas traditions that make this period so magical. 

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