Christmas is the best time of the year - period. As the holiday approaches, everyone’s looking forward to doing home decorations, buying presents and planning vacations. The holiday hype is real as we’re approaching the end of this year with tons of appealing discounts and deals everywhere you look. Travelers get to buy tickets for less money, shoppers can binge-order a bunch of cool stuff and bettors, and online game players get to use pretty awesome Christmas promotions.
And with the New Year’s Eve right around the corner as well, it’s a great chance to get the bags ready and do some traveling. Even if you’re on a budget, you can still plan out the perfect vacation. Exploring how different cultures celebrate Christmas seems like a lot of fun! And even if you’re not in a position to travel, you can still try some of these customs at home. Let’s talk about popular holiday’s traditions around the world.
Ever heard of the Junkanoo festival? It’s a long-lasting street parade in Jamacia during Christmas that dates back to the 16th century. Jamaicans like to dress in Akan-origin costumes and celebrate the holiday with parades, drums, and chants. The festival takes place the day after Christmas, the same time Brits celebrate Boxing Day.
Families in Finland have a number of customs for Christmas. In the morning, they have a breakfast made of porridge with rice, milk, and cinnamon. There’s a hidden almond in one of the pudding cups, and whoever finds it wins. Also, decorating the Christmas tree with geometric mobiles made out of straw is another common thing to do.
At the end of the day, it’s customary to enjoy a sauna and cleanse the body and mind from negative energy. Christmas is a great time to travel to Finland, as there are a lot of beautiful sights to visit. And if you’re with your family, trying some of these traditions will help you a blend in, and enjoy the holiday spirit.
Martinique is a beautiful French Caribbean island located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. And this is definitely one of the best places to visit during the holiday season. There’s an old tradition called la ribote, where people gather to sing carols together on the streets. The atmosphere is quite extraordinary, as the locals sing different variations of Christmas songs with the lyrics in their hands. On New Year’s Eve, families celebrate the holiday with their neighbors by sharing foods and drinks.
Mexico is a great travel destination, with tons of tourist attractions and things to see. But it gets especially beautiful around the Christmas season. Locals put on so-called Las Pastorelas, which recreate the biblical passage and tell the Christmas story through plays. This centuries-old tradition sets the stage for a month full of celebrations and great spirit. But the season really begins in the early days of December with a religious march called Las Posadas. This Mexican custom is about telling the journey of Mary and Joseph.
The holiday season in Norway starts a little sooner - on the third of December. This event is called Julebord. People like celebrating Christmas by going out to local bars and restaurants throughout December all the way up to the so-called “Little Christmas” on 23rd of December. On this day, Norwegians do tree decorations, eat hot rice pudding and make a gingerbread house.
In the countryside, it’s common to leave a bowl of porridge in the barn on Christmas eve for the gnome who protects the farm.
Christmas in Ukraine is quite fun. Roughly 49% of the country’s population celebrate this holiday on January 7th. Dressing in garments, playing all types of instruments and singing Christmas carols through on the streets is something special to see - and even participate in. One of the most popular meals for Christmas Eve is a dish called kutya, which is made with wheat, honey, nuts, and group poppy seeds.
Even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a travel guide along with you. Here are some of the best travel guides I recommend...
One of the most common questions I get: What is the best camera for travel photography? I personally love my Nikon D5600. I use the kit lens and a Sigma wide-angle lens (for Nikon) which I am genuinely obsessed with.
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