The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

Christmas Around The World

December 10, 2021

Have you ever wondered what different Christmas traditions are like in other countries? Here are a few different traditions for this joyous holiday in four different countries. We’ll be exploring Sweden, Germany, Norway, and Colombia. These countries have beautiful traditions that they’ve been using for centuries. 

First, we have Sweden. Sweden has always been one of my favorite countries because of all the beautiful scenery. I would have to say that Sweden has an unusual Christmas tradition. This Christmas tradition is called “Gävle Goat.” The Swedes have been doing this since 1966; it’s a 13-meter-tall Yule goat that’s built in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent.

Still, this Swedish Christmas has led to another “tradition” of sorts – people trying to burn it down. This poor goat has been successfully burned down twenty-nine times. I don’t think it’ll ever catch a break.

Second up is Germany. I believe most people know about this tradition, but if you didn’t, well now you know! This tradition is Saint Nicholas’ Day; this holiday is also celebrated in France, but is acted out a little differently. Saint Nicholas travels by donkey at night on Dec. 6 and leaves little treats like coins, chocolate, oranges, and toys in the shoes of good children all over Germany, particularly in the Bavarian region.

Although Saint Nicholas isn’t always saint-like, St. Nick often brings along Knecht Ruprecht, a devil-like character dressed in dark clothes covered with bells and a dirty beard. Knecht Ruprecht carries a stick or a small whip in hand to punish children who misbehave. This one seemed pretty sweet until the devil part. 

Next, we have Norway. Now I think Norway’s tradition might be my favorite. In Norway, people hide their brooms. It’s a tradition that goes back centuries when the people believed witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. Even today, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen. This is the cutest tradition I’ve ever heard. 

Lastly, we have Colombia. This tradition ranks up there with Norway’s broom tradition. Colombia’s Christmas tradition is called “Day of the Little Candles.” This marks the start of the Christmas season across this country. People place candles and paper lanterns in honor of the Virgin Mary in their windows, balconies, and front yards. The tradition of lighting the candles has grown over the years, and now entire towns and cities across the country are lit up with elaborate displays.

All of these traditions are beautiful and unique in their own way. It’s clear that these countries got creative when coming up with traditions for this festive holiday. I hope you enjoyed learning about these traditions as much as I did, and maybe you could do a little research of your own to find more Christmas traditions. 

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About the Contributor
Photo of Mia Turley
Mia Turley, Journalist

Mia is in 12th grade, and this is her third year in Journalism. She enjoys reading and drawing. She is a big Marvel and Supernatural fan.

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