Five Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Written by Caravan
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Jolabokaflod or “Christmas Book Flood”- Iceland

The power of the written word is so vital to the citizens of Nordic Island. Different publishing companies hold an exceptional yearly tradition called book drive that takes place every Christmas Day. The “Christmas Book Flood” is one of a kind in how families recognise Christmas as a holiday. Releasing of the newest books are between September to December. When early November arrives, the Iceland Publishers Association puts out the Bokatidindi, a catalogue of new publications distributed to almost every household for free. This is an opportune time for family members to give books as gifts for those family members who wish for it.


Advent Calendars- Germany

A major part of Germany’s Holiday celebrations is Advent, which lasts roughly Sundays before Christmas to December 24. Decorative calendars and wreaths are used to count the days until Christmas. Since the date of the First Sunday of Advent differs, most popular calendars today begin on December 1 and are made of paperboard with twenty-four small pockets containing chocolates. Some of the more complex calendars have twenty-four hanging parcels that can contain a little gift for children. This activity takes a few moments a day and is a fun family activity.


Colonel Santa: Japan

It all started in 1974 when the American restaurant giant KFC released a joyful campaign in Japan. This simple slogan Kentucky for Christmas, gave birth to a national tradition. Families will head to their local KFC for a special Christmas Eve meal and is still being done today. Nothing beats a simple cozy fried chicken night.


Christmas Caravan- Australia

It could be unfamiliar to other countries that Christmas in Australia is in summer. Yes, you read it right, instead of snow and hot chocolates, Australians head for the beach, surf and picnic for the Holidays.  Assuies also enjoy the road, many of them take the whole family on trips. Some love to go camping for a few days and others a trip to places to swim. One activity that stands out during Christmas is a road trip with their families to popular destinations and spend their Holiday there. Most of these places are crowded with other families, especially those where you can freely park, but that’s the essence of a Christmas caravan, enjoying the trip with others. An easy to prepare feast, list of activities, and a party spirit and you’re good to go.



Monito monita- Philippines

This is a well-known tradition in the Philippines wherein a group (students, co-workers, family members) will exchange gifts for days sometimes weeks. It is quite similar to Kris Kringle and a modification of the Secret Santa. The mechanics of the game is something like this: each of the participating individuals will write their names on papers. After mixing it all up, each one will take turns in picking their monito (if its a male) or monita (if it’s female). You cannot reveal the names for the whole gift-giving period, for example, seven days. Each day a theme will be declared and you have to purchase a gift with that in mind. Some popular theme includes something sweet: gifts can be like candies, chocolates; something round: balls, oranges; or something long: pen, candy cane, ruler and the list goes on. At the end of the Monito monita, you can give your gift directly to the person receiving it, this day usually falls to Christmas parties.

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