Top 10 Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World

The whole world is counting down the days to Christmas. Not surprising, it is one of the most festive days of the year after all (if not the most festive). When it comes to festivities, the traditions of Christmas play a big role, like the tradition of Christmas gifts.

Gift giving is not the only popular Christmas tradition, however. There are, in fact, lots of Christmas traditions around the world, and we will in this guide we will feature ten of the most unique and interesting Christmas traditions around the world.

Keep reading to learn more.


Day of the little candles

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Colombia
Lighting candles is part of Christmas tradition in Colombia

Where: Colombia

In Colombia the Christmas season starts with the Little candles day, or Día de las Velitas as it is known there. On that day people put candles (and sometimes paper lanterns) in their windows and yards. This is done to honour the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception.

It’s become a very popular tradition, to the point where a lot of people now compete to create impressive candle and lantern arrangements!


Dancing around the Christmas tree

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Denmark
Christmas traditions are a big part of the festivity

Where: Denmark

Do you put your Christmas tree in the middle of the room and sing Christmas carols while dancing around it? If you don’t, then you’re probably not in Denmark.

It might seem unusual to you but singing and dancing around the Christmas tree is a common Christmas tradition in Denmark. Sounds fun!


Find the almond!

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Finland
Christmas market in Finland

Where: Finland

A lot of the Christmas traditions are related to food. Not surprising really since food is a big part of Christmas (and our lives in general). On that note, Finland has one of the most interesting food-related Christmas traditions.

Over there on Christmas morning people traditionally have a bowl of rice and milk porridge, which is usually topped with cinnamon, butter, or just more milk. That is an unusual and interesting Christmas breakfast, but it gets even more interesting: traditionally an almond is hidden inside one of the porridge bowls, and then whoever finds the almond wins! What an interesting way to start Christmas Day.


The Yule Lads

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Iceland
Santa has helpers in Iceland!

Where: Iceland

Iceland has a very unique and interesting Christmas tradition of trolls rewarding (or punishing) children! The tradition involves 13 troll-like characters known as the Yule Lads paying a visit to children, one a day for 13 days up to Christmas.

The children put their shoes by the window each night for the Yule Lad to visit and leave a gift, or not: if the child has been nice they get a small gift (like candy) left in their shoe, but naughty kids get rotten potatoes!

Certainly acts as extra motivation for the children to be good!


Tall red candle

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Ireland
Red candles are lit for Christmas in Ireland

Where: Ireland

Ireland has a very simple yet interesting Christmas tradition, that of putting a tall red candle overnight at a front window.

This tradition has been around in Ireland for a long, long time, and symbolises warmth and shelter during the cold Christmas season.



KFC Christmas

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Japan
KFC for Christmas!

Where: Japan

Christmas isn’t a traditional event in Japan, and for the longest time it wasn’t celebrated there. Yet, Japan has one of the most interesting Christmas traditions, thanks mainly to a KFC marketing campaign that went viral! Because of that, nowadays having a meal at KFC on Christmas has become a popular thing to do in Japan!

You can see for yourself what Christmas specials the Japanese KFC is selling on their Japanese website, here.


Visit neighbors with food

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Martinique
A traditional house in Martinique

Where: Martinique

As far as interesting Christmas traditions go, the French Caribbean island of Martinique has one of the most neighbourly traditions. Over there, people visit their neighbors during the Christmas season with local holiday food like yams and pork stew.

They not just visit their neighbours with food, they also sing Christmas carols together until the early hours. People really embrace the community Christmas spirit in Martinique!


BBQ cookout and Maori carols

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World New Zealand
Kiwi Christmas tree!

Where: New Zealand

Christmas in New Zealand happens during summer, and not surprisingly barbecues are a common Christmas tradition there.

Families and friends usually get together for cookouts and eat fresh seafood, meat and vegetables. The meals often are accompanied by English and Maori Christmas carols!


Hide the broom

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Norway
Winter in Norway

Where: Norway

Of all the interesting Christmas traditions around the world we came across, Norway has one of the interesting ones. Over there people hide their brooms during Christmas in the safest possible place in their house!


Because there’s a century old legend that evil spirits and witches come out on Christmas Eve and look for brooms to ride on!


Roller skating to church

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World Venezuela
Tamales are the traditional Christmas food in Venezuela

Where: Venezuela

Visiting the Church on Christmas Eve is a common tradition in all Christian countries so there’s really nothing different or unique about that, unless you happen to be in Venezuela. Over there, the locals head to their churches early morning on roller skates!

The roads are all closed to make sure people can skate to their churches safely.

Talk about a fun way to visit the church!




Closing thoughts

Christmas traditions are important: they help us practice important values like community, kindness and generosity. They are also important for reminding us of why we do what we do, like why we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is without a doubt a fun celebration, but it is that and a whole lot more. Kindness and generosity are two of the most important values of Christmas, so let’s practice those values this year. Let’s have fun, and spread kindness and joy to others too. It’s easy to do, and can not just make a positive impact on the lives of others, but ours too.

Let us know about your thoughts on today’s guide about the top 10 interesting Christmas traditions around the world. And if you enjoyed it, share it 🙂

Have a great Christmas!

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