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5 Unique Christmas Traditions Around The World

by ikalmayang

‘Tis the season to be jolly and warm and finally rejoice as the holiday season is here!

Malaysia, while a predominantly Muslim country, also boasts a diverse range of ethnicities and religions. 

Unlike Western countries, Malaysia typically celebrates Christmas as a fun, non-religious holiday centering around the joy and festivities of the Christmas spirit. 

For both religious and non-religious ways of celebrating, both seem to have their own interpretations – especially from all over the world. Culture is a fun, diverse thing – and this list shows why. 

These are 5 unique Christmas traditions around the world. 


(Picture by CNN)

1. Colonel Santa? KFC in Japan 

Perhaps the more well-known unique Christmas traditions come from the land of the rising sun: Japan. It started as a hearsay involving the perception that foreigners eat KFC for Christmas from the first KFC manager in Japan, and from then had caught on to be its own tradition. Interesting! 

the mixed culture copy

(Picture by The Mixed Culture)

2. Guatemala: Cleanliness is Godliness.

Guatemala boasts a Christian population that take their religious holidays quite seriously – and cleanliness is definitely part of it. Dirtiness, often associated with the devil, is forbidden in homes during christmas as they believe that the devil lurks between the dark, dirty crevices. 

So they collect the trash and put up a devil effigy to burn on top of the trash. The act signifies a new beginning – a clean start to the new year. 

ukraine xmas

3. A Cobweb Christmas: Ukraine

Make no mistake – cobwebs are not dirty, nor are they a sign of the devil in Ukraine. Instead, the joy of tinsel decorations coupled with pretty glitter baubles are taken to a new reach with cobwebs (real or artificial) as part of Christmas traditions. 

This is because it derives from an old tale of a poor woman who couldn’t afford to decorate her tree – and woke up on Christmas morning to discover a spider had covered it in a glorious, sparkling web. 

norway witch

4. Norwegian Flying Witch

Sticking true to the belief of pesky, trouble-bringing witches, Norway’s tradition involves paganistic influences where they take it upon themselves to hide their brooms before christmas so that any witches looking for a midnight joyride won’t steal theirs and break them. 

nbc news krampus copy

(Picture by NBC)

5. Austria: Only Bad Kids Meet Krampus 

A direct contrast from jolly Santa, Krampus is the stuff made of nightmares – a hideous, ugly devil monster whose purpose is to search for misbehaving children and snatch their presents away. Deeply-rooted in paganistic rituals, the tradition has since increased slightly more traction after the Hollywood film ‘Krampus’ made its debut a while ago. Certainly one festival I personally would like to see. 

So there you go. The 5 most unique Christmas traditions from around the world – which one would you like to experience? 

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