Christmas Traditions From Around the World (and some are weird)


The holiday season is upon us.  There is no turning back now!  Whatever festive traditions you celebrate with your friends and family, there are some very interesting ones that take place in other parts of the world.

Got goat?  For the past 53 years, a 13 metre tall straw goat has been constructed in Castle Square in Gavle, Sweden.  It has created another tradition whereby residents and visitors alike try to burn it down (even with a heavy security presence) every year.  The Yule Goat has been burnt a total of 37 times since 1966.  Today, there is a live stream of the Christmas goat that you can watch during the month of December!

KFC for XMAS.  Japan is not known for its huge Christmas celebrations, but Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has designed Christmas menus with a website so that even the Japanese can enjoy a roasted bird this holiday season (even if it comes in a holiday-themed bucket)!

Christmas tree origins.  You may be surprised to learn that the first Christmas tree was decorated in 1510 in a city called Riga, which is located in Latvia!

Sports on Christmas Day.  In Ethiopia, people actually celebrate the day by playing "Ganna", a hockey-like ball game that is played only once a year.  

Ghoul of Christmas.  In Austria, "Krampus", a creepy-looking ghoul is thought to wander the streets looking for badly behaved children.  For those who can never get enough of Hallowe'en, a visit to Austria for Christmas might be the perfect fit as residents don scary masks and devil-looking costumes to scare adults and children alike!

Back in Canada, our tradition of decorating a Christmas tree and putting up lights on your home seems almost demure compared to other places in the world.  The good news is that a tastefully decorated home during the holidays can actually improve a buyer's first impression.  Buyers who typically look for homes during December and January are serious, and with the lower inventory, home sellers can benefit from the warm ambiance a decorated and inviting home can offer during the Christmas season.