But in Iran, Yalda Night makes the solstice unique. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. India's Hindu population typically observes this time of year by placing clay oil lamps on the roof in honor of the return of the sun. Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. The idea of decorating a Christmas tree didn't appear in Greece until the early nineteenth century, when King Otto arrived from Germany, where the custom was already in practice. One of the largest festivals of the world is the Quebec Winter Carnival held in Canada. In this post, I've included a video which highlights 12 of the celebrations around the world during the months of December and January. Coptic Christmas is mainly associated with Egypt, but this version of Christmas can also be found in other places, like Ethiopia, Ukraine, and Russia. Amateur and professional teams race canoes on the icy surface of the St. Lawrence River. Children also open their presents on this day, which are delivered by the three kings rather than Santa Claus. It is steeped in tradition. The country's Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. In Iran, for example, it is known as Yalda Night and is typically celebrated with family and friends. The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. WhatsApp. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. This lends itself perfectly well to traditions, from the small and personal to the large and cultural. Pinterest. No matter where you are around the world, December is a time for celebration. Or maybe you take some time to deep-clean your closet and donate what you no longer need. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, articles, and more. However, for those that do celebrate the full 12 days, the celebration culminates on January 6th with Three Kings Day. Winter Solstice Celebrations Around the World The Winter Solstice is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. To show how many cultures celebrate the darkest months in different ways, here’s a list of 25 Unique Winter Traditions Around The World You Might Not Know About. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice. Coptic Christmas, also called Orthodox Christmas, is based on the Orthodox calendar, which places Christmas on or near January 7th each year. Read on to learn about some of our favorite traditions from all over the world. The holiday name is derived from a phrase that refers to the first harvest in Swahili. It is celebrated around the world by people of African descent. Fascinating Winter Traditions, Celebrations and Customs Around the World. On the other hand, if a child is naughty, he or she can expect to find a lump of coal left behind by La Befana. Real hygge is always free. Holiday traditions from around the world include floral abundance, door-to-door witches and more (like 13 Santas!). In addition to candles, electric lights and paper lanterns are used to light up the night. In fact, the pagan commemoration of Winter Solstice (also called “Yule”) is one of the oldest celebrations in the world. Hygge isn’t a specific tradition or celebration: it’s really a feeling—one that doesn’t have a direct English translation. It’s nice if you’re teaching Holidays around the world. Artists from all around the world compete in an eye-catching snow sculpture competition. The winter solstice is a surprisingly popular winter solstice experience: over 28,000 people applied for the lottery in 2018. Twitter. The festival’s events include a winter amusement park, with attractions such as; Skiing, snow rafting, ice sculptures, snow sled slides and outdoor shows. While the individual celebrations and traditions may differ, they all have in common a look forward into the new year, a light in the middle of winter, and a reason to celebrate. The night before, on Christmas Eve, is really the time of the big feast – and leftovers are consumed the next day. However, Scandinavians argue that hygge is a feeling, not a product, aesthetic, or lifestyle, and they find its commoditization strange and unnecessary. The Kwanzaa celebration lasts for one week. Here are a few of the winter traditions that get people through the dark half of the year in the rest of the world. In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. While Christmas is the most popular winter holiday in the U.S., the world is full of diverse ways of celebrating winter, including some unexpected and amusing customs and traditions. photo: AlHIkesAZ via flickr . 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At this time of the year, the days are often cold, dark, and long (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway). Maybe you take the chance to go out with old friends that come back to town for the holidays. In Scotland, the big holiday is that of Hogmanay. The best and most beautiful objects are selected to represent African culture as family, community, and heritage are celebrated. Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the winter solstice falls in June, and people may use native plants like Mallee roots, Tasmanian oak, and eucalyptus to make a family Yule log. All across the globe, people get together for rituals and holidays, to share time together. Like Yalda Night, this celebration focuses on the return of the sun after the longest night of the year. Facebook. In Colombia, the Christmas season kicks off on December 7th with Día de las Velitas or Day of the Little Candles. Learn about the holidays that occur around the world during December and January. If you’re all about Christmastime, seeing red and green decorations and holiday lights everywhere probably sparks good feelings. The term caught on in the U.S. and Britain a few years ago, sparking a wealth of articles, how-to pieces, and products that promised to show you how to hygge. The darkest part of the year has always been a time for winter celebration. It is the shortest day of the year. It’s sometimes known as Lunar New Year, and the celebration lasts for about 15 days. In the U.S., many people don’t really celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, although we may sing about them in Christmas carols. This day commemorates the time when, according to Christian lore, the Three Wise Men arrived to give baby Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts. While there are many Chinese New Year celebrations in the U.S., there’s much more to this holiday than the parades you typically see here. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. The man relents, the wife bakes the turta, and the trees are spared for another year. And the festival usually held in February. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. People often shop at outdoor markets in the days leading up to New Year’s Day, and also thoroughly clean their houses in preparation for the new year. In China, only about two percent of the population observes Christmas as a religious holiday, although it is gaining in popularity as a commercial event. The winter solstice, or the longest night of the year, can feel significant even if you don’t celebrate a solstice holiday. Category: Travel. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. Top 5 Winter Celebrations Around the World. It is a little long and more complex if your audience is a younger group of children (younger than 6 or 7). You might be more familiar with the winter solstice as the day with the shortest amount of sunlight and the longest night of the year. According to folklore, on the night before the feast of the Epiphany in early January, Befana flies around on her broom, delivering presents. A multi-day festival called Pongal falls around the time of the winter solstice, and it's when rice is boiled in milk and presented as offerings to the gods, followed by the family cows, and then the humans who live in the home. Here’s what you need to know about how pagans marked the shortest day of the year, and other Winter Solstice rituals and traditions. Children leave out glasses of milk for the Juulnisse, which are elves that live in peoples' homes, and for Julemanden, the Danish version of Santa Claus. She rejected them, but later realized she'd been quite rude. All over the world, people spend the colder months of the year celebrating a variety of holidays. Yalda is viewed traditionally as the victory of light over dark, and the birthday of the sun god Mithra. It marks the last day of the Persian month of Azar. Some countries have particular celebrations to mark the solstice. One fun custom is that of Glogg parties, which involve the drinking of Glogg, a mulled wine made from Madeira, and the eating of lots of baked treats. Winter Celebrations Around the World. A chill is in the air, and winter is being celebrated all over the globe. People also pray for good luck in the coming year and acknowledge the end of the harvest season. Here are some of the wonderful and unique ways the winter solstice is celebrated around the world. Both China and its East Asian neighbors, including South Korea and Japan, mark the annual Winter Solstice (aka the year’s shortest day) with Dongzhi, a … Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. On Hanukkah, many Jews also eat special potato pancakes called latkes, sing songs, and spin a top called a dreidel to win chocolate coins, nuts, or raisins. Many countries around the world have some kind of festival or celebration for the winter solstice or beginning of the New Year—either celebrating Christmas or another winter holiday, celebrating the coming of spring and return of more daylight, or gathering with friends and family to tough out the harsh winters. The Persian festival Yalda, or Shab-e Yalda is a celebration of the winter solstice in Iran that started in ancient times. Winter solstice celebrations in the United Kingdom have been resurgent in recent years, with caroling, costumes and processions by torchlight. As you can imagine, this day is celebrated with lots and lots of candles. Southeast of … SO, Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Dongzhi, or one of the many other holiday celebrations around the… It’s also known as Soyaluna or Soyala. Whether you’re looking for tips on organization, travel, parenting, fitness, relationships, school, or your career, our team of expert writers is here to help. Author: Kate Johnson. Recently, it's become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. Gifts, feasting, and traditional cultural stories add to the celebratory atmosphere. There's a tradition known as "first-footing", in which the first person to cross a home's threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year – as long as the guest is dark-haired and male. Winter … Much like Santa Claus, she leaves candy, fruit, and small gifts in the stockings of children who are well-behaved throughout the year. However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. Coptic and Orthodox Christian traditions are somewhat different, but they celebrate Christmas on the same day. By submitting your email, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. To celebrate, people wear elaborate costumes modeled after bears, goats, and more, and parade through the town while singing, dancing, and performing skits. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season. Today, it isn’t an offici… Give Your Home a Tropical Vibe, Hard Kombucha Is a 2021 Trend According to Instacart, 5 Easy and Efficient Stretches You Can Do While Watching TV, This Tiny Symbol Tells You When Your Makeup Expires. It is said that the three Magi stopped on their way to Bethlehem and asked her for shelter for a night. Each time, the wife begs him to spare the tree, saying, "Oh no, I am sure this tree will be as heavy with fruit next spring as my fingers are with dough today." All Rights Reserved. Celebrating this holiday involves going home to be with your family. However, the main winter festival in China is the New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. Most of us are familiar with wintry traditions—slipping and sliding down icy slopes, burning our tongues with cocoa that’s 30 degrees too hot, and opening gifts from a fat, bearded guy in a red suit who somehow thinks that a skinny chimney is the best way to make a grand entrance. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. The person who finds the figurine has to cook the tamales for February’s Candlemas celebration. This festival has ancient roots but celebrates something that still feels meaningful: the return of longer days. On Coptic Christmas Day, feasts commemorate the holiday, with traditional dishes of mackerel and tilapia on the menu. The Day of the Little Candles heralds the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which celebrates the Virgin Mary. But the drawn-out winter holiday season can feel exhausting if the holidays aren’t your favorite thing (or you don’t celebrate them). They do it to remember an ancient miracle in which one day's worth of oil burned for eight days in their temple. The Winter Solstice occurs around December 21. HanukkahFor eight days each November or December, Jews light a special candleholder called a menorah. In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. 8 winter traditions from around the world. Some of the best winter vacation spots are hiding right in plain sight: explore majestic ice sculptures in China, watch twinkling lights in the Netherlands, compete in winter games in … Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice. Although holiday celebrations vary by location and preference, we can all come together to appreciate this season that is so unlike any other. Hearth fires burn for several days between December 25 and January 6, and rather than swapping gifts on Christmas Day, Greeks typically exchange presents on St. Basil’s Day, which is January 1. Traditional dances done in masks and costumes, along with songs and prayers, are performed to welcome the kachinas, or beneficial spirits that visit people during this time. But other places and cultures around the world put on a pretty spectacular show in wintertime, whether it be to welcome in the cold, perform rituals, do … Baba Noel, or Father Christmas, leaves gifts like kahk, a sweet pastry. Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. The winter solstice celebrations at Newgrange in Ireland are among the most difficult to attend in the world. Occurring only six weeks before the Chinese New Year, the festival has its own significance for many people, and is believed to be the day when everyone gets one year older. Winter Celebrations Around the World (Created after the CreativeCurriculum concept)This study discusses the similarities of the different celebrations that take place during winter all around the world.The purpose of the study is less to celebrate each festivity, but rather to show children how peop. 10 Weird Holiday Traditions Celebrated Around The World By Maria Perez On 12/23/17 at 10:00 AM EST A holiday tradition in Japan is eating KFC Chicken on December 25. LifeSavvy is where you learn new skills for a better life. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun. Traditional poetry and myths may be read, while fruits and nuts are served along with tea. Traditional Three Kings Day celebrations involve a feast with “king’s bread” for dessert, which has a figure of baby Jesus hidden inside. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support LifeSavvy. In ancient days, the celebration focused on the birth of the light-god Mithra. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Still, even if you’re not into Christmas, or New Year’s, or the rest of it, you probably have some personal winter traditions that ground you in the season. Marking the longest night and shortest day of the year, the hibernal solstice is an astronomical event that takes place when the Earth reaches … Soyal is another solstice celebration, but this one belongs to the native Zuni and Hopi tribes of North America. The following festivals have no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar, and may be aligned with moon cycles or other calendars. Yule Craft Projects for the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World. Burning the Clocks, Brighton, England People gather for … Tiny lights illuminate buildings and homes across the country. Even Christmas isn’t the same all over the world. In Egypt and other Coptic countries, Christmas Eve is celebrated with an evening mass. La Noche de Rábanos, The Night of the Radishes – Mexico Chinese New Year falls in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar. The Chinese celebration of the winter solstice, Dong Zhi (which means “Winter Arrives”) welcomes the return of longer days and the corresponding increase in positive energy in the year to come. Christmas is typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. Now she travels the world, searching, and delivering gifts to all the children. People all over the world participate in festivals and celebrations. The Winter Solstice occurs Sunday, December 21 this year. In countries below the equator, December falls during the warmer season, but the winter solstice, six months later, is still seen as a time to celebrate. Although it happens in winter, you may also hear Chinese New Year referred to as the Spring Festival because it marks the end of the coldest part of the year. The celebration may have begun as a harvest festival, when farmers and fisherman took time off to celebrate with their families. There are others such as Boxing Day, Omisoka, St. Lucia Day, St. Nicholas Day, Ramadan, … The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman. Although the Northern Hemisphere’s winter technically starts on December 21st, people tend to think of December as a winter month, as Christmas looms on the horizon. However, some have compared this street festival to Mardi Gras for its rowdy and masquerade-like traditions. I asked ten of my most trusted friends around the world about their favorite winter traditions in their home cities, and it put me in a wonderful, festive, globally inspired mood. Although Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. In fact, the Lunar New Year travel season is one of the busiest holiday travel seasons in the world. Often there are special foods and lots of light to brighten the darkness of winter! She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun. People make nativity scenes that show baby Jesus as having been born in a cave, not a manger. Out of the house, traditional dances, fireworks, and parades mark the New Year celebration. When the celebration ends, the carefully crafted costumes can be stored and then re-done for the next year’s Malanka. ... > 11 Winter Holiday Traditions from Around the World. While anyone can feel hygge at any time of year, winter lends itself especially well to this feeling. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. This list doesn’t come close to covering all of the winter holidays celebrated around the world. Holiday Celebrations Around the World Holiday Celebrations Around the World ... (The story is particularly appealing to Swedes, whose country is dark during much of the winter.) Winter Celebrations Learn about unique traditions, celebrations, and holidays that occur around the world during December and January. This book talks about all of the different winter holidays around the world. Although the Northern Hemisphere’s winter technically starts on December 21st, people tend to think of December as a winter month, as Christmas looms on the horizon. Hygge is best explained as a sense of coziness, comfort, and complete relaxation, such as what you’d experience while enjoying a good conversation around a winter fireplace with friends. Three Kings Day (or Día de los Reyes) is primarily celebrated in Latin America and Spain and is also called the Feast of the Epiphany. While many countries and cultures have their own ways of celebrating Christmas Day, Coptic Christmas is actually celebrated on a different day altogether. The celebration is heavy on symbolism and humor and loosely tied around kicking off the spring season. People all over the world participate with festivals and celebrations. This pre-celebration lets friends and family members get together to set up their lighting displays and get in the holiday spirit. Between the feasts and costume preparation, this holiday can bring a whole village together. The Ukrainian New Year celebration, called Malanka, falls in mid-January. It is the shortest day of the year. Instead, a sprig of basil is wrapped around a wooden cross to protect the home from the Killantzaroi, which are negative spirits that only appear during the twelve days after Christmas. Main winter festival in China is the author of Daily Spellbook for the winter solstice experience: over 28,000 applied... The season at under 20 million people pagan author, educator, and holidays, share! Depending on the icy surface of the Little candles melted sugar and honey and tribes... 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