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15 Unique Christmas Traditions from Around the World

15 Unique Christmas Traditions from Around the World
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Although Christmas is a holiday that’s celebrated in some form or fashion in most countries across the globe, many of them vary greatly in the way they choose to celebrate.  For some it’s mostly a religious holiday. To others its appeal is much more of a commercial one. Here are examples of some of the customs and traditions that make Christmas special for its observers all over the world.

1. Costa Rica
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    Photo via Flickr

    An important symbol of Christmas in Costa Rica is the model of the nativity scene, called the Pasito or Portal.  It’s the main focus of the Christmas decorations, which also include tropical flowers and often fruit.  The whole family participates in decorating the scene, which often takes a long time to make.  Wreaths of cypress branches, decorated with ribbons and red coffee berries round out the decor. The country’s population is largely Roman Catholic, so Christmas Eve is spent attending Midnight Mass, which is called the Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster), followed by a Christmas meal of pork and chicken tamales wrapped in plantain leaves.  Gifts are brought by Nino Dios (meaning Child God, or Jesus) or Colacho, which is what Costa Ricans call St. Nicholas.

    2. Germany

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      Photo via Flickr

      A major focus of Germany’s Christmas celebrations is Advent.  They use various types of Advent calendars, including ones in the shape of a wreath fashioned out of fir branches.  From these circular calendars hang 24 decorated bags or boxes, each of which contains a small gift.  Another version is a fir wreath with four candles on it.  A candle is lit each week during the Advent celebration. Residents of Germany differ on who they think brings the gifts on Christmas Eve.  Some say it’s Santa Claus or Father Christmas, known as Weihnachtsmann.  Others say it’s Christkind, The Christ Child.  Some also believe a character called Knecht Ruprecht, or Krampus, accompanies St. Nicholas.  Rather than bringing gifts, this horned monster comes to punish the children who were bad.

      3. South Africa
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        Photo via Flickr

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        Since it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, residents of South Africa celebrate Christmas in the summer.  Schools close, so many people spend the holiday camping or swimming.  Caroling on Christmas Eve is quite popular in the cities.  There are services where carols are sung by candlelight. South African cuisine also plays a major role in the holidays.  A Christmas meal of turkey, duck, roast beef, or suckling pig is served with vegetables, yellow rice and raisins alongside.  The meal is followed with a traditional dessert called Malva, or Lekker, Pudding.

        4. Mexico
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          Photo via Flickr

          In Mexico, the Christmas celebration lasts from December 12th through January 6th.  Beginning on December 16th, Mexican children perform a series of nine Posadas.  These processions represent Joseph and Mary’s search for a place to stay.  They walk with candles to various houses where they sing a song and are then told there is no room. At the last house of the final Posada, on Christmas Eve, the children are told there is room and welcomed in for a a celebration that includes prayers of thanksgiving and a party with food, fireworks, and often a pinata.

          5. Australia
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            Photo via Flickr

            When Santa reaches Australia he trades his reindeer in for kangaroos, known as Six White Boomers (a popular local Christmas song).  He also sheds his furry suit for some cooler clothes to beat the heat in the Outback. Beach barbecues are a popular way to celebrate with family.  In addition to the traditional fare, many dine on seafood such as prawns or lobster.  The celebratory meal is usually eaten at lunch time.

            6. Canada
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              Photo via Flickr

              Many Canadians argue that Santa Claus himself hailed from Canada, although residents of Finland make the same claim.  Either way, he’s a major part of the country’s Christmas celebration.  An annual parade in Toronto is one of the biggest and oldest in the world and involves over 2,000 participants. Another favorite Christmas pastime in Canada are cookie baking parties.  Families bring their favorite recipes, bake a batch, and then swap them with other attendees so that everyone leaves with an assortment of cookies to enjoy over the holidays.

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              7. Ireland
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                Photo via Flickr

                Forget milk and cookies.  In Ireland it’s customary to leave mince pies and a bottle of Guinness out for Santa Claus. Another Christmas Even tradition involves leaving a tall, thick candle burning in the largest window.  The candle is allowed to burn all night as a symbol to welcome Mary and Joseph.

                8. Egypt
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                  Photo via Flickr

                  Christians in Egypt participate in a Holy Nativity Fast for the 43 days before Christmas.  They eat what is essentially a vegan diet, which contains no foods that come from animals (including milk and eggs). On Christmas Eve, they attend a church service that begins around 10:30 and can last until as late as 4:00 a.m.  Following the service, everyone goes home to the big Christmas meal, which contains meat, butter, and all of the other yummy things they couldn’t eat during the Advent fast.  A popular dish is Fata, a soup that contains rice, bread, garlic, and boiled lamb.

                  9. France
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                    Photo via Flickr

                    In French homes, yule logs made of cherry wood are often burned.  They’re sprinkled with red wine, which creates a nice aroma.  The logs, along with candles, are left burning through the night.  They’re accompanied by food and drinks that are left out in case Mary and the Jesus visit during the night. Christmas decorations often include a nativity crib that’s adorned with clay figures.  In addition to the typical nativity characters, French scenes sometimes include a butcher, a baker, a priest, and a policeman.  Photo via Flickr

                    10. Finland
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                      Photo via Flickr

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                      Finland is long believed to be the home of Santa Claus or Father Christmas.  He’s presumed to live in the Korvatunturi, or Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle.  An address there receives letters to Santa Claus from all over the world.  There’s also a large theme park called “Christmas Land” in the area. Another important Christmas figure is Joulupukki, which translates to “Christmas Goat.” This character was a scary goat who asked people for presents, without every giving any in return.  Eventually, though he began giving gifts, a duty that was later taken on by Santa.

                      11. Greece
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                        Photo via Flickr

                        Caroling is also popular in Greece, where children walk the streets singing and playing drums and triangles.  According to custom, they often carry model boats that are painted gold and decorated with nuts.  If they perform well, they are rewarded with sweets, nuts, or even money. Rather than a Christmas tree, many Greek homes display a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire suspended over it.  From the wire hangs a cross wrapped in a sprig of basil.  Each day the cross is dipped into holy water and sprinkled throughout the house to ward off evil spirits known as Killantzaroi, which appear during the 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany on January 6th.

                        12. Brazil
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                          Photo via Flickr

                          Children in Brazil await a visit from Papai Noel or Bom Velhinho, which means Good Old Man.  They leave him a sock near the window, which he exchanges for a gift. Another popular gift-giving tradition in Brazil involves those from an amigo secreto, a secret friend.  These admirers give small gifts all through the month of December using a false name, only to reveal their true identify on Christmas Day.

                          13. China
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                            Photo via Flickr

                            Since only about 1% of China’s population is Christian, most people know very little about Christmas.  This is despite the fact that the majority of the world’s plastic Christmas trees and decorations are manufactured there. Although most don’t understand its meaning, Christmas is still widely celebrated in China, particularly in the major cities.  One popular tradition is the giving of apples, likely because Christmas Eve in Chinese is Ping An Ye which is similar to the Chinese word for apple, Ping Guo.

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                            14. Zimbabwe
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                              Photo via Flickr

                              Christmas day in Zimbabwe usually begins with a church service.  After its conclusion, everyone goes from house to house to visit with all of their friends and family where they eat and exchange gifts.  This celebration often lasts the rest of the day. Music is also a big part of the celebration.  Many people place speakers outside the front of their homes and play their favorite tunes at loud volumes.  This could include holiday songs, contemporary music, or even traditional African tunes.

                              15. Japan
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                                Photo via Flickr

                                Since there are few Christians in Japan, Christmas is seen more as a time for spreading cheer than it is as a religious celebration.  And it’s Christmas Eve that tends to be the more celebrated day. With a focus on couples spending time together, it actually bears a closer resemblance to Valentine’s day.  Young couples exchange gifts and enjoy activities like strolling around looking at Christmas lights and eating a romantic meal.

                                Featured photo credit: Compfight via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                                100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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                                Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                                By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                                Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                                83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                                  84 write random letter

                                    85 use a rubberband

                                      86 dorm smell bad

                                        87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                          89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                            90 take a picture of the name card

                                              91 iron inside out

                                                92 old newspaper

                                                  93 tumble try shoes

                                                    keep a card like this

                                                      SONY DSC

                                                        94 soap bar

                                                          95 make a hole

                                                            96 drop the battery

                                                              97 use a coozie

                                                                98 when taking a picture

                                                                  use a clean dust pan

                                                                    try a pants hanger

                                                                      use your cellphone light

                                                                        use a spring from an old pen

                                                                          quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                            user binder clips

                                                                              wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                                put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                                  clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                                    use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                                      doritos are great for kindling

                                                                                        use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                          use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                            freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                              use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                                almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                                  sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                                    unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                                      cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                                        remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                          turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                            for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                              how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                                tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                                  place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                                    ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                                      use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                                        take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                          how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                            put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                              How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                                user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                                  good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                                    turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                                      50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                                        the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                          add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                            38

                                                                                                                                              hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                                stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                                  the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                                    how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                                      the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                                        use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                          to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                            user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                              a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                                rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                                  use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                                    50

                                                                                                                                                                      51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                                        52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                          rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                            kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                              use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                                58

                                                                                                                                                                                  59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                                    60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                                      hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                        Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                          hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                            use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                              if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                                keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                    drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                      use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                                        use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                          do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                            when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                              dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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