As we already know, Christmas is international and people around the world have so many different traditions. There are some every country respects, there are some specific to the people's religion and there are the ones we all wonder who came up with the idea first because they are incredibly hilarious. In this article I am going to present the last category, hoping I am going to help learn some new information you will probably won't use.
St. Nicolaus or Krampus?
In Austria St. Nicolaus has a friend, but he is not the good, white-beard kind. It is a creature that hunts and eats naughty children. In the night of 5th to 6th December, when the well-behaved children get gifts, the bad ones don't get just a stick to be beaten with, they get Krampus. Or better said, they get to be eaten by a monster with horns and huge fangs. For us it may sound like a weird tradition, but for them is normal. They even have Krampusnacht, a special celebration where women and man dress up in half goat and go on the streets to scare the children that misbehaved along the year.
Traditional Christmas food in Japan
When thinking about food for such an important day of the day you would probably expect from Japan something fancy: like Mochi or Sushi. But no, they simply eat KFC. The fast food chain is very popular in Japan especially when this time of the year. The explanation might come from the fact that Japanese people are Buddhist, so for them Christmas is just another time to spread happiness, not a cultural value. And maybe a very good KFC ad with Santa Claus from the 1970.
The Yule Cat
Cats...one of the cutest animals in the world, animals we play with and give all the love. Well, the people from Iceland don't see them the same way, at least not on Christmas time. I am not saying they don't like cats, but they certainly don't like one kind: The Yule Cat. This cat is huge, house-tall huge and its purpose is to eat people who didn't get new clothes for Christmas. It may sound ridiculous, but people really believe it. Some say the tradition to buy a new outfit every Christmas comes from Iceland, others say it's marketing and I personally prefer to think it is anything else than the monster cat. The cat attacks on Christmas Eve, while the little children are asleep, it checks if they got new clothes and if they didn't, well they get simply eaten.
Is it Halloween or Christmas in Ukraine?
We all know the Christmas tree should be colorful, or at least to show the joy of Christmas. In most of the countries the tree is full of lights and globes and even some sweets, except for Ukraine. In Ukraine the most popular Christmas tree decorations are spiders and spider webs. Well, the explanation is really not a horror one, happily. There is a legend about a widow with two children who were very poor. To have a Christmas tree, they grew up a pine in their garden, but they didn't have money for decorations. The children where extremely sad, they cried a lot, but the spiders heard them and had mercy for them. The spiders climbed up in the tree and decorated it. When the children found out they where over the moon. So, in Ukraine every year the people celebrate the spider's kindness.
The Goat Dance
I think we laughed enough of other country's Christmas traditions, so now comes Romanian's turn. There are lots of weird things people do around Christmas time in our country, but I still believe the funniest one is the goat dance or "Capra" as the locals call it. Before the New Year, people dress up in goats costumes and go from house to house singing a special song about the goat and about the New Year coming. If one of those things shows up at your door, you must open and listen to the song. The folklore says it makes the year to come lucky and full of good things. I like this tradition because it is even funnier when it really happens. Sadly, not many people do it anymore because it is a reginal tradition from Moldova and the young man, the one who should do it, are not so interested in such old things. However, I hope as many people as possible are going to spread luckiness this year in goat costumes.
Many people love Christmas, from a lot of different reasons and based on where they live they have different traditions and perspectives about it. But, forgetting all of the things that break us apart, let's enjoy every way of celebrating Christmas and let's be those good people once again this year.
Articol redactat de Ingrid Azoiței
Articol editat de Lucian Cismaru