How are Christmas and New Year Celebrated around the World
Christians around the world are waiting for Christmas. What are the traditions and customs in the days before the holiday and on Christmas itself?
In Norway, people believe that Christmas Eve coincides with the appearance of evil spirits and witches, so the night before Christmas, Norwegians hide all the brooms before going to bed.
In Austria, Santa Claus has an evil accomplice - Krampus. A demon-like disgusting creature roams the streets looking for naughty children to punish. Men dressed in scary costumes, similar to Bulgarian kukeri, fill the streets of Austrian cities.
In Italy, on the other hand, children's gifts are brought by an old witch named Befana, and this happens on January 6. It coincides with the day of Epiphany and the tradition is to hang stockings on the fireplace and if you’ve been good you receive a present, if not you get charcoal
According to an old legend in Iceland, the giant cat Yule travels around the country at Christmas and brings new clothes to people who have worked hard throughout the year. That's why nowadays Icelanders buy new clothes for Christmas to avoid an unpleasant experience.
In Germany, one of the traditions is for every child to leave their shoe in front of the bedroom door. If they were good throughout the year, they would find it full of goodies in the morning. It is believed that the tradition of the Christmas tree originated in Germany, which leads to another custom - in the branches of the Christmas tree hides a pickle, and every child who finds it receives a gift.
And in Ukraine, in addition to traditional garlands, Christmas balls and lights, they decorate the Christmas tree with cobwebs. Legend has it that a poor woman suffered a lot because she had no money to decorate the Christmas tree for her children. But when she woke up at Christmas, she found that a spider had covered the whole tree with a glittering cobweb.
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