Different Folks, Different Strokes: Our Favorite Christmas Traditions Around the World


It’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but the countdown to Christmas has already begun. Wherever we go, we start seeing houses, malls, and public spaces adorned with snow, fairy lights, stockings, and Christmas trees. Yes — already! Have you ever wondered if people from other parts of the world are seeing the same decorations too? When we think about Christmas traditions around the world, we often believe that there are many countries that celebrate them. 

People often have the curiosity to know just how other cultures celebrate Christmas, and that is what we are here to find out. 

How many cultures celebrate Christmas traditions around the world?

There are around 93 different countries that celebrate Christmas traditions around the world. 

Each country has its own unique way of celebrating this holiday, ranging from common traditions to unusual ones; each is enticing to learn about given that each of them has its own significant meaning, especially for its locals. 


1. Pickles in trees (Germany)

While some debate the origins of this particular tradition, Germany widely practices it, and this is the act of hiding a pickle in the branches of a Christmas tree. 

The idea behind this is that whoever in a household finds it first will receive a present. This is commonly a Christmas tradition targeted at kids.

You can adapt this kind of tradition in your household if you fancy the idea. Surely this would ignite an entirely new excitement for your family. 

2. Giant Lantern Festival (Philippines)

Since Roman Catholics make up about 80% of the population of the Philippines, Christmas is observed by almost all of the country’s citizens.

When it comes to Christmas traditions, they are the ones who are loaded with them, and this easily makes them a candidate for our favorite Christmas traditions around the world. 

One of their festivities is called the Giant Lantern Festival. This takes place in San Fernando, Pampanga, where a barrage of colossal lanterns with different patterns are on display. 

So if you think you have already seen the most beautiful Christmas decorations, think again. Visiting the Philippines to witness this tradition will be worth every cent!

3. Cavalcade of Lights (Canada)

Celebrating Christmas inside the comfort of our own homes is relaxing and comforting, but of course, it would not hurt to try and celebrate outside every once in a while. 

This is what most Canadians take part in during the holidays. Toronto hosts this Christmas tradition called the “Cavalcade of Lights.” 

People get to witness a variety of things here, such as ice sculptures, a barrage of LED lights, Toronto’s Christmas tree, fireworks, and musical performances

Plus, what makes this tradition so great is that people get to ice skate at Nathan Philips Square for free! 

4. Christmas sauna (Finland)

One of the most relaxing Christmas traditions around the world would have to belong to Finland, thanks to their tradition of going to the sauna. 

The majority of Finns have saunas installed in their homes, and there is a good explanation for why this is. 

They believe that inside the saunas lives a sauna elf, also known as a saunatonttu.

It is a tradition for Finns to pay their respects to the sauna elf by leaving treats outside of the sauna. In return, the sauna elf watches over those who respect and care for them. 

5. Skates galore (Venezuela)

It is not uncommon to hear people head to churches on Christmas Eve, and this is a tradition that Venezuelans do each year too. 

What makes their Christmas tradition so unusual yet fun is the fact that they roller-blade their way to churches! 

In order to ensure everyone’s safety, several streets in Caracas are closed because this tradition is so widely accepted and practiced by the locals. 

6. KFC Christmas (Japan)

Ever since Japan’s first KFC branch in Nagoya launched a campaign called “Kentucky for Christmas” in 1970, the locals have never stopped buying buckets of chicken. 

Soon after, Japanese people began doing this out of tradition during Christmas. 

This is why, every year, people still willingly form long lines outside KFC just to bring home a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to their families. 


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