Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Around the World

My friends over at Twelve Countries in Twelve Months are talking about the Christmas traditions in each of the 12 countries they're visiting during their year abroad. This inspired me to look at some of the traditions of the places I visited in Europe this summer.



My trip to Europe was so incredible! I loved every single minute and so wish that I could relive it everyday. Who doesn't love eating pastries and taking pictures all day? So, what would Europe look like if I went back at Christmas?

Norway

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In Norway there is a gift-giving gnome called Julebukk. He stems from Viking times when pagan worship was prominent in Norway. Much like Halloween in the States, Julebukking involves dressing up, wearing masks, and going door-to-door and having neighbors guess who is in disguise. After the identity is guess, everyone shares holiday goodies. 

Czech Republic

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On December 4th, a girl will put a cherry twig in water. If the twig blossoms by Christmas Eve, she will be married in the next year. Also, King Wenceslas was from the Czech Republic. 

Germany

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In Germany, December 5th is St. Claus day. Children leave a boot outside the house and St. Nick leaves a gift while they're asleep. I would love to see all the shoes outside! 

France

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Most families display a nativity in their house, which I think is a cool tradition. Much the same in Germany, French children leave shoes by the fireplace in hopes that Pere Noel will fill them with sweets and little gifts. I love the idea of leaving your shoes out; it's simple and I like that. 

England

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Father Christmas comes on Christmas eve and fills stockings or pillowcases that are left at the end of the bed with goodies. There is also a large Christmas dinner that is eaten at midday on Christmas. And the English also have Boxing Day, which is December 26th.


I would love to enjoy some of these traditions firsthand. Plus, I didn't even talk about the food! I didn't have a bad meal the entire time I was in Europe so I can only imagine what treats are served up during the holidays.



PS--I'm itching to get another stamp in passport. Yesterday I read my mother's London guidebook while I waited for my grandparents at the doctor. What is that? 










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