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World Holiday Traditions
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We're all familiar with most popular holiday traditions. Christmas involves a large, jolly man in a red suit. He delivers presents all around the world to kids of all ages while piloting a sleigh of eight named reindeer, one with a very bright nose. He does this all in one night, giving good children presents and bad children coal. Santa is all over the place during the month of the December. Coke cans, store displays and commercials. Saint Nick is everywhere for the joyous holiday season. However, there are holiday traditions all over the world.
A little known tradition is that Santa has a counterpart. He goes by many names. Certa, Black Peter, Klaubauf but most notably is Krampus. Krampus is known mostly throughout European countries. Who is Krampus, you ask? He's basically anti-Santa. Instead of Santa giving out coal, and keeping track of who is naughty and who is nice, he hands off the naughty kids to Krampus. One of the traditions dedicated to Krampus is Krampusnacht. Mainly this is celebrated in Austria, northern Italy, France and Sweden. Krampusnacht is the night before Christmas Eve. People dress up as devils, feral people and witches. They parade through the streets baring torches and imbibe alcohol freely. Krampusnacht has spread to other countries in Europe and has even been recognized in a few American cities.
In Ireland they have Saint Stephen's Day. Taking place on Dec. 26, it commemorates the first Christian martyr. It has also been linked to the Canadian “Boxing Day.” For Saint Stephen's Day, people dress up in old clothes topped with straw hats. They go door to door, singing, dancing and playing music. It's also referred to as “Wren's Day.” The people who go door to door are called “mummers” or “wrenboys”. There's a Mummers' Festival in New Inn, Dingle and a few other cities in Ireland.
Another holiday tradition that's celebrated in the US but as its roots across the ocean is Kwanzaa. Started in 1966 as a specifically African-American holiday, it has grown by leaps and bounds, a derivative of an East African Swahili dialect meaning “first fruits of harvest.” Kwanzaa honors seven tenants. They are unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperation, purpose, creativity and faith. The symbols of Kwanzaa are a mat, corn, a candle holder with seven candles, gifts and more. The holiday has spread to Canada, France, Great Britain, Jamaica and Brazil.
Lastly, there's St. Lucy/Lucia's Day which is mostly recognized in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway St. Lucia's Day combines Germanic practice with midwinter elements. It takes place on December 13th, which was believed to be the longest day of the year. A girl is selected to portray the famous saint. The girl wears a white robe, red sash and a crown of candle. She walks through a throng of women, all holding candles and singing “Santa Lucia.” It's truly a site to behold.
These are but a few of the holiday traditions that take place all around the globe. There are several more ways that people of all shapes, sizes and creeds celebrate the holidays. Take a look around the internet; you'd be amazed at what you will find. Perhaps next year someone you know will even be St. Lucia!
This article is written by Sophia Butler on behalf of econoautorent.com, this is having topics on World Holiday Traditions and many more.
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