5 Christmas traditions from five countries around the world

We all have quirky traditions in our families at Christmas time. They can be anything, and they will usually have developed over a number of years through the generations ready to be enjoyed by new one and all. But what about the interesting traditions from around the world?A traditional Japanese Christmas Cake made at Lyons Holiday Parks, North Wales.We’ve picked five for you to see. Are yours more elaborate than these, and will you be trying them out at one of our caravan holiday parks, Wales this year? Philippines Celebrations last all the way to January in the Philippines. Part of the celebrations involve children leaving brightly polished shoes along with freshly washed socks on the window sills so that the Three Kings can leave gifts in them when they pass through their houses come the evening. The “Feast of the Three Kings” marks the end of the Christmas celebrations. Venezuela On Christmas Eve, in Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas, before young children go to sleep, they tie one end of a string to their big toe, with the other end outside hanging out of their bedroom window. This is because during Early Morning Mass the streets are closed off to cars until 8 a.m. and people proceed to roller-skate to the service, as they do so it is a tradition to tug on any of the strings they see hanging.  Japan A Christmas food tradition associated with Japan is the Christmas cake. Unlike the cake we associate with Christmas here in the UK, Japan’s are sponge cakes with whipped cream, chocolate and strawberries on top and are ordered months in advanced. These cakes are then enjoyed on Christmas Eve. Any cake that goes unsold after the Christmas Day is considered unwanted. For the same reason, single Japanese women 25 or over would be referred to as Christmas Cakes! How mean! Czech Republic If you’re tired of being the single one in the family then the people of the Czech Republic have something to help that, or so they say. You should stand with your back to the door and throw a shoe over your shoulders on Christmas Day! If the shoe lands with the toe pointing to the door, then it’s good news, you’re going to get married soon, but if it’s facing away from the door then it’s another year of the single life, we’re afraid. India Christmas in India is marked with midnight mass and gift-giving, just like people do in the rest of the world, but due to the fact that there are no pine or fir trees in India for them to decorate, they treat mango and banana trees to the same special decorating ritual as we do with our trees in our homes in the UK. So if you go to India at Christmas you can expect to see brightly lit, well-decorated Christmas banana or mango trees on the streets. And what’s more, they make use of the leaves of those trees so that they can decorate their houses.  Image: bittle under Creative Commons.

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