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Check Out the Unique Holiday Traditions of These 4 Countries

Here in the United States, Christmas Day involves eating plenty of delicious food, the joyous unwrapping of gifts, and gazing in awe at a decorated Christmas tree. By now, you’re very familiar with how Americans participate in this holiday – but, have you ever wondered how the holiday is celebrated in other countries around the world? To satisfy your curiosity, we’ve compiled a few cool facts about Christmas in 4 different countries. Read on to learn how their celebrations differ from ours!

Australia

Because of Australia’s location in the southern hemisphere, Australians typically celebrate Christmas during the summer months. However, that doesn’t stop them from enjoying their own unique take on holiday traditions! Australians love to gather with friends and family during barbecues and outdoor concerts, where they serve plenty of smoked meats and vegetables alongside more traditional holiday dishes, like plum pudding topped with ice cream.

France

In France, Christmas festivities kick off with Le Réveillon, a lavish, lengthy dinner on Christmas Eve that is sometimes followed by entertainment. On Christmas Day, friends and family gather for another multi-course dinner, which often includes wine or champagne, cheese, oysters, and desserts. Then, they gear up to participate in Three Kings Day, or the 12th Day of Christmas, which is known as the Feast of the Epiphany, and jump-starts another beloved French holiday: Mardi Gras.

Iceland

With cold, dark winters and plenty of snow, Iceland has got the whole “white Christmas” thing down pat – but, when it comes to celebrating the holiday, they do things a little different than North Americans. Icelandic children follow their own tradition of putting their shoes on a windowsill, with the expectation that Yuletide-lads will fill them with treats (if they were nice) or rotting potatoes (if they were naughty). How’s that for an interesting spin on the stockings-and-coal tradition?

Sweden

The Swedish don’t just celebrate Christmas – they’ve also honored St. Lucy’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Lucy, for over 400 years. During the Feast of Saint Lucy, young women wear white gowns, which are meant to pay tribute to Saint Lucy, the woman who once brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs. Young men participate by donning white gowns, paper cones on their heads, and stars mounted on sticks. Then, everyone ends the celebration with treats, like saffron buns and ginger snaps.

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