The winter has come! The ground is covered with snow, the fragrance of oranges seems to pursue you everywhere, and even the Coca-Cola advertisement is broadcast on TV.
Despite the fact that Christmas is a ubiquitous holiday, tastes differand the customs of various countries differ as well. Have you ever thought about how it is celebrated overseas and in the most remote corners of the world? Continue reading and satisfy your intense curiosity.
Have you ever heard about one of Saint Nicholas’ companions who is punishing kids that did not behave well during the year? The origins of the figure are unclear but presumed to be pre-Christian. Of course, here I mean Krampus. In the morning on December 6, some children will be awarded for their good behavior by Saint Nicholas, whereas the others are worried about the punishment they might receive for the misbehavior.
Oplatek, also known as Christmas wafer, is a religious tradition in Poland. It is baked from wheat flour (pure one) and water, usually in the rectangular shape. Albeit it is never consecrated, it bears the same value as sacramental bread. When the first star appears in the night sky, each member of the family breaks off a piece of oplatek wishing Merry Christmas and the dinner begins. Moreover, it is common that one seat remains unoccupied just in case to ask an unexpected visitor to join the celebration.
The pivotal issue related to New Zealand is that Christmas holidays are observed in summertime. A barbeque party or so-called ‘barbie’ is commonplace for this country. Gathering together with the family and friends, eating seafood, as well as meat and fresh organic vegetables is the way, in which Kiwis celebrate the birth of Christ. In addition, another intriguing fact about Christmas in New Zealand is Pohutukawa. It is a Christmas tree, which red, yellow, orange, and even white flowers are in bloom in December.
Before Christianity came to the shores of Denmark, the Danes had been celebrating jól, which was formerly known as the Old Norse religious festival, just before the winter solstice. The typical folklore creature associated with this holiday is a ‘nisse’ whose appearance bears a slight resemblance to a garden gnome. The Danes decorate their homes with the figures of nisses, as these mythological creatures are believed to give protection.