No matter where you go in the world, holiday traditions are being upheld. Different celebrations in different parts of the world are as unique as possible. Here are seven of the most original that people still celebrate today.
1. One unique tradition takes place every year in Guatemala. A symbolic cleansing is performed, called La Quema del Diablo. To mark the occasion, people take to the streets to create a large pile of all the trash collected from their homes. The trash pile is then set on fire. They believe that doing this removes negative energy and evils from the air, prior to celebrating the Christmas season.
3. Children in Iceland are especially invested in being nice all year long. The reason for this is because of the Yule Lad tradition. For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, kids place a single shoe on their windowsill. When they go to sleep for the night, tradition states that a group of 13 Yule Lads will visit their windowsill. If children have been good, they get gifts in their shoes. If they are bad the Yule Lads will only leave them a potato.
4. In Scotland, New Years Eve is a much bigger event than Christmas is. The country’s new year celebration is called Hogmanay . There are several traditions associated with the celebration. One of them is the First-Footing. In peoples’ homes, they await visitors arriving after midnight on January 1st. Whoever comes into the house first is supposed to be able to predict if those who live there will have good luck in the coming year. However, the tradition states that some people are lucky while others are not.
For example, men with dark hair are considered the luckiest. Men with blonde hair are thought to have bad luck, as are women. Regardless, the person that becomes the first-foot is expected to come bearing gifts. Typical choices include whiskey, coins, and bread. each is meant to represent something good in the coming year. Whiskey symbolizes good cheer, with bread symbolizing food and coins symbolizing wealth.
5. Christmas celebrations in Ukraine are quite unlike any other country’s traditions. There, they decorate their Christmas trees with spiderwebs. This tradition stems from an ancient legend. In a legend, a family who was poor used a pinecone to grow their own Christmas tree. While the tree was growing, the children in the family dreamed about decorating it with ornaments they couldn’t afford. When the tree was grown, spiders weaved webs on it. The light reflecting off the silk the spiders left behind made the webs look like tinsel.
6. Every December, people in Newfoundland attend the Mummers Festival. It celebrates mummering and features workshops, parades, and concerts. Mummering is a practice that involves visiting neighbors at home. People wear elaborate disguises to hide their true identity. They even change their body language and speech patterns in order to fool the residents of the homes they visit. However, if their identity is uncovered anyway, they remove their mask and accept refreshments provided by the homeowner.
7. A legend believed in Mexico led to poinsettias being associated with Christmas. The legend states that two children with poor parents laid branches at their church as an offering to the Christ Child, and it led to a miracle. The branches were suddenly filled with red-stemmed flowers. In Mexico, they were known as Flores de Noche Buena, which translates to Flowers of the Holy Night. For Americans, the flower became known as a poinsettia.