16 Magical Christmas Traditions

Italians welcome La Befana, the whimsical Christmas witch, on January 5. Children hope she leaves sweets and gifts in stockings. She still searches for baby Jesus, and her kind gifts show it.

Austria and Bavaria add a thrilling twist to Christmas with Krampus, St. Nicholas's evil companion. Krampus uses switches and chains to discipline misbehaving kids with his horns and fur.

A KFC Christmas dinner is a must in Japan. Many Japanese families pre-order KFC meals, transforming Christmas dinner.

New Zealanders celebrate Christmas with beach “barbies” (grilling sessions) in summer. Families and friends dine outdoors on fresh seafood, meat, and seasonal vegetables.

The 13 Yule Lads visit Iceland during Christmas. Each night, kids put their shoes by the window and get sweets for good behaviour or rotten potatoes for bad behaviour.

St. Lucia's Day in Sweden on December 13th is heartwarming. The oldest daughter of each family becomes St. Lucia, wearing a white robe and candle crown and serving saffron buns and coffee.

The playful Catalan tradition of Tio de Nadal involves children “beat” a Christmas log to reveal gifts. A unique holiday experience.

The tall straw goat in Gavle, Sweden, sparks a Christmas debate. Locals anticipate its fate each year, with arsonists posing a thrilling challenge.

Children in Colombia celebrate the Day of the Candles on December 7. With lanterns, candles, and their voices, they brighten the streets with Christmas cheer.

The 13 playful Yule Lads from Iceland visit children on the 13 nights before Christmas. They leave treats or tricks in kids' shoes depending on their behaviour.

South Koreans traditionally give money for Christmas. This is similar to giving “Sebae Don” (New Year's money) in colourful envelopes in Korea.

Venezuelans roller skate to early morning Christmas church services, a lively celebration.

Las Posadas in Mexico recreates Mary and Joseph's Bethlehem search for shelter. The traditions of processions, songs, and piñata-breaking are heartwarming and joyful.

Norwegian Kransekake is a delicious Christmas dessert. This magnificent almond pastry ring cake elevates the Christmas feast.

Hide a pickle ornament on the Christmas tree is a funny US tradition. The child who finds it gets a bonus gift, making Christmas more fun and surprising.

Irish children sing and collect sweets and small change while carrying a fake wren from house to house on December 26th. A lively and festive tradition.

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