Welcome to the last day of Blogmas! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our posts over the last 24 days! As it’s Christmas Eve I thought I’d share some brilliant Christmas Eve Traditions from around the world. Here are my favourite 12!
Norway: Broom Hiding.
An Ancient Norwegian Tale speaks of Witches who come out to find brooms to ride on so they can get up to mischief. So every year on Christmas Eve, Norwegians traditionally hide their brooms to stop Witches from playing mischievous tricks!
United States: Cookies and Milk for Santa.
Every Christmas Eve, many families across the US leave a plate of cookies and glass of milk out ready for Santa to enjoy and in return he leaves a bag of gifts under the tree.
Iceland: The Yule Lads.
The Yule Lads are 13 characters (similar to trolls) who visit children across Iceland during the 13 days leading up to Christmas. Children leave their best shoes by the window and The Yule Lads will visit, bringing gifts for the nice kids and rotten potatoes for the naughty ones. On Christmas Eve, a traditional meal of Hangikjot (often a leg of lamb) is eaten before children can open their presents to see what The Yule Lads brought them.
During Posadas – which starts on December 16th – children (dressed as Mary and Joseph) go from door to door asking if there’s “room at the inn”. Christmas Eve is the last night of Posadas and on this night the children are finally let invited in to celebrate at the ‘inn’. It’s an event for the whole community and on Christmas Eve mountains of food, drink and celebrations are shared!
Although Easter is often a bigger celebration than Christmas in Greece, children still head out on Christmas Eve to sing carols to their neighbours in exchange for treats.
Denmark: Animal Treats.
Many families head to Church at around 4pm on Christmas Eve. There is also a sweet tradition where animals are given treats on the 24th, and so many families will head for a walk after Church in the park or woods and given out some animal-friendly treats to the creatures they find.
Bolivia: Misa de Gallo.
Many Bolivians go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, known as ‘Misa de Gallo’ (Mass of the Rooster). And on the stroke of midnight, fireworks are let off all over the country. After Misa de Gallo, families will often eat a traditional Christmas meal called ‘picana’ which is a stew made from either chicken, beef, pork, or lamb and served with potatoes and corn.
Jamaica: The Grand Market.
Every town and city across Jamaica you’ll find a Grand Market – a cross between a festival and a market. During the day, people will go shopping for gifts, food and new clothes for the evening celebrations. At 6pm everyone comes out in their new clothes and celebrate and party until morning! The streets, shops and local houses are fully decorated with lights and there are dozens of street vendors serving up delicious local foods!
Namibia: Decorating the Tree.
In Namibia, the Christmas Tree is often decorated on Christmas Eve, followed by the Christmas meal. German style Christmas cookies (often made from gingerbread or marzipan) are often served as dessert! After the meal is done, many families will go to Midnight Mass.
Ghana: Drumming and Dancing.
Attending Church services on Christmas Eve is common in Ghana, with many Church services celebrating Christmas in style with drumming and dancing. There will often be a Nativity Play, choirs singing and people dancing! Sometimes the celebrations will go on all night too!
Peru: Noche Buena (the Good Night).
Like Bolivia, many families will head to Misa de Gallo on Christmas Eve which normally starts around 10pm. After Mass, the Christmas meal is eaten called the ‘Cena de Navidad’ and often includes either roast turkey, chicken, or pork served with salads. After the stroke of midnight, ‘Feliz Navidad’ is shouted and presents are exchanged and opened with the Christmas Meal.
United Kingdom: Stockings.
Traditionally in the UK, stockings were hung above the fireplace on Christmas Eve so Santa could fill them with gifts for children to open on Christmas Morning. It was often said that if the child had been naughty all they’d receive would be a lump of coal instead of presents!
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year…
I hope you all have an incredible time, however you’re celebrating Christmas this year. If you fancy finding out some more Christmas Eve traditions, head over to Why Christmas?
See you all in the New Year!