7 World Christmas Traditions, Iceland's Most Unique Lifestyle – 15 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Do you have any special habits when celebrating Christmas? The Christmas atmosphere is like 'Eid' for Christians. There is worship or prayer together, then gathering with the family. It is not uncommon for families to set aside special time for family dinner the night before Christmas celebrations.
However, there are Christmas traditions that are unique but still full of the meaning of Christmas. Following are the unique traditions of various countries in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

1. Yule Goat – Sweden

Christmas is synonymous with Christmas trees or decorative pine trees. However, in Sweden, apart from the Christmas tree, the day Jesus was born is synonymous with the Yule Goat.

Quoting CNN, the Yule Goat is a goat statue about 12.8 m (42 feet) high made of wood and straw.
The Yule Goat has been popular since it was first installed in the town square in 1966 and burned on New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, during the festive season, small Yule goats are placed around the house. It turns out this tradition goes back to an ancient pagan festival.

2. Visit of the 'trolls' – Iceland

While the US has 12 days of Christmas, Iceland has 13 days of Christmas. During the 13 days leading up to Christmas, Icelandic children will be visited by 13 Yule Lads. According to Icelandic folklore, these 13 'trolls' will come down at night and come to people's houses to place gifts.

Therefore children will put shoes in the window for the trolls to put in gifts. Prizes are only given to children who behave well.

3. Long red candle in the window – Ireland

According to Country Living, Irish people have a tradition of placing long red candles in the front window of their house overnight. Burning candles symbolize warmth and shelter during the holiday season. Apart from that, Christmas is also celebrated by eating roast goose, complete with vegetables, cranberries and potatoes.

4. Breaking oplatek bread – Poland

In Christian tradition, Jesus' body is symbolized by thin unleavened bread similar to a layer of wafer without jam. This is usually eaten in worship while remembering Jesus' last supper with the disciples. However, in Poland, eating bread without yeast is especially done during Christmas celebrations.

According to NPR, Catholic families in Poland will spend Christmas Eve by sharing oplatek, aka unleavened bread. This tradition is carried out by saying prayers, hopes or apologies to the oldest to the youngest of the family, then they will break and take pieces of oplatek as a sign of reciprocity.

Oplatek is usually rectangular, thin, and tastes bland. This bread looks beautiful with images of pieces of the Christmas story.

5. Looking for accommodation for Mary and Joseph – Mexico

Christmas celebrations in Mexico take place from December 12 to January 6. Starting December 16, Mexican children will do a series of nine Posadas.

Posada means inn. As reported by Lifehack, children will carry out a procession representing Mary and Joseph when looking for lodging in Bethlehem. Children walked with candles to various houses, sang songs and were told that there were no empty rooms.

At the final lodge, the children are told there is an empty room and are welcomed to a celebration filled with thanksgiving prayers, communal eating, fireworks and sometimes the breaking of a piƱata.

6. Send a 'peace apple' – China

Chinese people have a tradition of giving Peace Apples to friends and family. The apple is wrapped in cellophane paper plus there are messages of peace, Christmas and love on it.

Quoting from India Today, according to local belief, having a Peace Apple will bring one good luck throughout the year. However, there is something interesting behind this tradition. In the local language, Christmas Eve is translated as 'ping'an ye' which can mean a peaceful night. Then apple in Mandarin is called 'ping guo' which sounds similar to peace.

7. Breaded fried chicken – Japan

Even though it is not declared a national holiday, Japanese people still have a unique way of celebrating Christmas. Families will visit the nearest KFC and eat the restaurant's mainstay menu, namely fried chicken with flour.

This tradition started in 1974 thanks to a campaign entitled 'Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!' or 'Kentucky for Christmas!'. This also brought instant popularity to the restaurant.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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