The Most Curious Christmas Traditions in Europe
Just a few weeks before the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year, one can already appreciate how lights fill the streets with colors, Christmas markets are installed in the squares, and trees are packed with decorations. In the different cities of the world, Christmas mood is already in the air, delighting young and old people alike.
If there is something that connects people during this endearing festivity is the different and curious customs that are followed all over the countries on the earth. Each nationality celebrates this commemoration in its own way. Christmas in Europe is a very captivating experience, there are thousands of centenary customs that are carried out in all the cities. Did you know that in Italy people celebrate the last day of the year eating lentils and opening the windows? Or that in Iceland they have the Christmas present par excellence?
If you love reading, you should know that in Iceland there is an object that, without any doubt, is the perfect gift, which is a book. On Christmas Eve, all Icelandics give a book as a present with the aim to spend the rest of the night and Christmas Day reading. This tradition was born after World War II and has lasted over the years.
In Norway people have a very striking tradition. It consists of hiding brooms in a difficult spot. This custom is based on the thought that if you leave them at sight, evil spirits will steal them and fly away.
In Italy, families have the custom of finishing the year eating lentils. These are a symbol of wealth and goods. In some Italian cities the age-old and unique tradition of throwing some pieces of furniture off the window is still alive, as they believe that this way they break free from all the bad things that have happened during the ending year.
If there is a tradition that makes hearts shrink is the one that Portuguese citizens follow. When it comes to setting the table, they put more cutlery than needed in order to include deceased relatives that are not present anymore.
Beside, in Spain, people take twelve lucky grapes to bid farewell to the year with the best omens. Apart from this tradition, there is another famous one that is also practiced in New Zealand. It revolves around starting the year wearing some red clothes, most of the times underwear.
In the north of Europe, specifically in Finland, there is a very eye-catching custom. Santa Claus is known as Joulupukki, which means “Christmas goat.” This tradition consists of giving presents to each other with the difference that, in this Scandinavian country, people wear a goat mask to cover their face.
Slovakia is the country with the “stickiest” tradition all over the European continent and you will shortly know why. The oldest man sitting on the table has to throw a spoon of loksa, a typical pudding from the country, to the ceiling. The more it sticks to the ceiling, the better.
There are hundreds of customs and traditions that have lasted over the years all around Europe. Each country has its own beliefs and traditions, which have nothing to do one with another, but there is one thing in common, which is that they are all carried out with our loved ones and that is the true magic of Christmas.