The holiday season is upon us and some even claim to perceive certain holiday magic in the air. It’s a time for crazy sales and festive feasts where even the grumpiest neighbors warm up to you and the cold winter feels cozy. Mark Roemer believes that irrespective of your religious beliefs, Christmas is a time of celebration that everyone likes to participate in. Here are some of the Christmas traditions around the world:
1. Gävle Goat, Sweden – Some of the strangest things happen in Sweden during Christmas. Ever since 1966, a Yule Goat reaching the height of 13 m is built-in Gavle’s Castle Square. That’s definitely not an unusual thing. It’s a tradition that has birthed a strange phenomenon where people try to burn down the huge goat each year. Security is more proactive every year during this time and the goat enjoys the presence of a nearby fire station. Despite that, the Yule Goat has been damaged 37 times since 1966.
2. KFC Dinner, Japan – Japan is a country where Christmas isn’t really a huge deal. Some secular traditions are followed by exchanging gifts or light decorations, but that’s mostly it. However, things have taken an unexpected turn to birth a new “tradition”. Dinner at your favorite KFC restaurant. December is a month unlike any other for KFC Japan. The franchise restaurants have to brace themselves for ten times the sales with over 3.5 million Japanese families celebrating over juicy and crispy chicken.
3. Saint Nicholas’ Day, Germany -Unlike Father Christmas (Weihnachtsmann), Nikolaus doesn’t like to travel on a sled drawn by reindeer. His favored mode of transport is the donkey. On December 6th, Nikolaus Tag likes to travel in the middle of the night to leave toys, chocolates, oranges in the shoes of children who have been great. He even visits schools or homes to leave small gifts and sweets for each child in exchange for a song, poem, or a hand-drawn picture from them.
Overall, he’s a great guy with a big heart. However, naughty children or ones who misbehave must beware of Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert), a shabby character with a dirty beard and dark clothes. He likes to punish misbehaving children with a small whip or a stick that he carries around.
4. Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto, Canada – Toronto is a great city to visit in general. But if you visit this place during winter, you are in for a treat. Since 1967, to mark and celebrate the construction of the new City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, Cavalcade of Lights draws tourists from all over the nation and abroad.
A huge Christmas tree and The Square is decorated with hundreds of thousands of energy-efficient LEDs. These lights light up the place from dusk until one hour before midnight until the arrival of the New Year.
Mark Roemer suggests that you spend your holiday season without regrets. Whether you want to spend time with family and friends or visit one of these destinations, cherish whatever you want to do this holiday season.