Did you know…
1. People in Iceland often exchange books on Christmas Eve and spend the night reading them and eating chocolate. This is part of a season called Jolabokaflod or “the Christmas book flood”. Consequently, Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country, selling most of them between September and November!
2. There are 12 courses in the traditional Ukranian Christmas Eve Supper, each dedicated to one of Christ’s apostles. The meal does not begin until the first star can be seen in the sky!
3. Christmas has only started being widely celebrated in Japan in the last few decades, and it still isn’t seen as a religious holiday as there aren’t many Christians in Japan. Thanks to a successful advertising campaign in 1974, KFC fried chicken is widely eaten on Christmas day across Japan, and the chain is so busy, people can place their food orders in advance!
4. Sweden have a Christmas tradition of the ‘Yule Goat’, a goat made of straw used as a Christmas decoration in homes, said to protect the Christmas Tree and as a reminder that Jesus was born in a manger. In the City of Gavle, a huge straw goat is built every year for the start of advent. However, it is a target for vandals and in its 50-year history has only survived through Christmas and new year a dozen times! In 2016, it survived less than two days!
5. In Spain, a couple of days after Christmas, December 28th is ‘dia de los santos incocentes’ (day of the innocent saints) and is like April Fools day in UK/US, where people try to trick eachother into believing silly stories and jokes, as well as newspapers and TV channels running silly stories.
Which Christmas tradition do you like best? Let us know on our social media pages!