It’s not long until Christmas now – we’re counting the days! While every family has their own traditions, it’s safe to say that Christmas in the UK is fairly similar in every household; mince pies are left out for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph. Kids wake up early on Christmas day to open their presents, while parents prepare the huge turkey dinner feast. Does that all sound familiar? Did you know though, that not every country celebrates Christmas in the same way? Let’s take a closer look at some Christmas customs from around the world.

 

  • Canada
    It’s not unusual for children in the UK to write letters to Father Christmas with a list of the toys they’d like to receive on Christmas day. In Canada, children send their letters to Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada HOHOHO – nothing too strange about that, but unlike in the UK, those in Canada receive a reply!
     
  • South Africa
    While you’re tucking into your turkey and roast spuds this Christmas, stop for a moment and think about what others are eating in countries around the world. A Christmas delicacy in South Africa is deep-fried Emperor Moth caterpillars – we think we’ll stick to the turkey.
     
  • Venezuela
    Do you go to the Christmas morning service at your local church each year? In Venezuela it’s all about getting there in the most fun way possible, with many children roller skating their way to the church.
     
  • Japan
    In recent years, it’s become a widely adopted tradition to serve KFC chicken on Christmas Day. The fast food chain reportedly sells a whopping 240,000 buckets in Japan on 25th December each year.
     
  • Austria
    Were you ever threatened with receiving a lump of coal for being naughty? Well children in Austria have something much scarier to be wary of: Krampus. He’s the enemy of Father Christmas and punishes children who have been naughty.
     
  • Czech Republic
    Are you hoping to receive a marriage proposal soon? Well if you live in the Czech Republic, you can use Christmas day to determine whether or not you will soon be receiving one. Single ladies stand on their porch each year facing away from the door and throw one of their shoes behind them. If it lands facing the door, it’s a sign that they are soon to be married. 

 

Suddenly our traditions of getting a slightly bit too tipsy and wearing paper hats don’t seem all so strange… 

If you’re thinking of booking a last minute holiday this Christmas, take advantage of our Prepaid Explorer Card which allows you to load currency before you go, saving you from cash machine charges and keeping your travel money safe while you’re away.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas in a different country? Did you experience an unusual tradition? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.