Need a quick break to get you through the holiday work day? Wish you could be vacationing elsewhere for this Holiday season and enjoying festivities from another culture? Or are you just looking for some table talk to impress your family with at your holiday dinner?
Check out these 7 unique (if not bizarre) holiday festivities and traditions from around the world:
Hogmanay – Scotland
Hogmanay, or “First Footing”, is bigger than Christmas in Scotland. Good luck is brought to homes around the country with the first friend or neighbor to cross your home’s threshold. Extra luck is given to those whose first visitor is a dark haired male!
Reveillon – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Celebrate the New Year on the beach, clad in white, and offering a sacrifice of white lilies to Yemanja, Goddess of the Sea. What will you get in return? A good New Year, and three wishes – not to mention an incredible fireworks show on the beach to ring in the New Year!
Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala
Think Black Friday shoppers or giant Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons are scary? Head to Guatemala on December 7th, where families build bonfires outside their homes to burn effigies of the Devil. This tradition cleanses the home and family of demons and prepares the community for a happy holiday season.
Sunburnt Christmas – Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Tired of the snow and cold each winter? Celebrate the holidays at Bondi Beach with a music festival, bathing suit and sunscreen. Don’t forget the Santa ball cap! Who knows, maybe you’ll see Santa and Mrs. Claus relaxing after a busy holiday!
Giant Lantern Festival – City of San Fernando, Philippines
On the Saturday before Christmas Eve, Filipinos compete with a collection of huge decorative lanterns (parol). Some of the lanterns are 40 feet in diameter, illuminated by 4,000 light bulbs. The popularity of this celebration has made San Fernando known as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.”
Good Luck Spider Webs – Ukraine
Looking for some good luck to add to your Christmas tree this year? Why not decorate it with a spider web. The story goes that a widow with her children couldn’t afford anything at Christmas except for a young evergreen tree. There were no decorations, but at night the spiders of the household covered the tree in intricate, beautiful webs of silver and gold thread. From then on, the widow and her family never wanted for anything!
Mummering – Newfoundland, Canada
Halloween is in October, but Newfoundland keeps the disguises on for the annual Mummering tradition. Mummers disguise themselves and visit neighborhood homes – if their identity is revealed, the revealer is gifted with food and drink.
These unique traditions and festivities are sure to be the talk of the dinner table. Who knows, maybe your family will start participating in one of these traditions too, or it might be time for a vacation!