Christmas Traditions around the World
Every family has their own traditions at Christmas time, whether it’s leaving a whisky out for Santa or driving down Regents Street to see the lights. It’s the transmission of these customs from one generation down to the next that gathers weight over time and become our treasured memories. Being a nostalgic kind of brand we decided to take a look at what people do at Christmas time around the world.
The legend of the Christmas Spider is an Eastern European folk tale which tells of a poor widow and her family and how one Summer’s day a pine cone fell to the earth floor of their hut and took root. They cared for the little tree and were delighted at the prospect of having a Christmas tree by Winter. However, when Christmas arrived they had no money for decorations and the family went to bed weeping. Hearing their sobs a spider worked through the night to cover the tree in cobwebs and when the sun came up it turned the threads to silver and gold.In this part of the world spiders are now considered to be very lucky and they decorate their Christmas trees with spiders and spider web ornaments. It’s also thought that this is the origin of tinsel.
At Christmas time we often see a religious large scale model reproduction of the birth of Jesus; a pastoral scene with a farmhouse as the central setting and a baby in the manger with Mary, Joseph and a donkey gathered round. One of the weirdest traditions we came across is that of the Spanish El Caganer. A little figurine of a man crouching down to go to the toilet (trousers round his ankles, bare bum an 'all) is placed into the Nativity Scene! The exact origin is unknown but the tradition is thought to have existed since at least the 18th Century. These days you can buy all manner of celebrity Caganers, from Elvis Presley to Darth Vader. Bizarre.
The Christmas Pickle is a German tradition and the pickle is considered to be a symbol of good luck. Here they decorate the tree on Christmas Eve and the special Pickle ornament is the last one to be placed on the tree after the children have gone to bed. Parents hide it deep within the tree's green branches and on Christmas morning the first child to find the pickle gets an extra present and is said to be blessed with a year of good luck.
But our favourite of all the traditions has to be Rollerskating to Mass in Venezuela. Every year between 16th and 24th December, the roads of Caracas are closed to traffic and people young and old skate to early morning Christmas Mass. How cool is that?!
From the team at Salt-Water Europe we wish you a Happy Christmas wherever you are x
*** Miri Kirihimete *** God Jul *** Joyeux Noel *** Seng Dan Fui Lok *** Mer Kuri ***
*** Hyvää Joulua *** Blithe Yule *** Feliz Navidad *** Buon Natale ***