Kempinski Blog Article
When the weather in most parts of the world turns darker and colder during winter, it certainly does not dampen our spirits. This season is the most widely celebrated - and from Christmas to New Year's Eve, we definitely know how to party in style!
Yet across the world, we all celebrate in very different ways. From Germany to the Seychelles, the festive season can look radically different depending on where you are celebrating. Here we have a quick run-down of some brilliant holiday traditions you could encounter if you hop on a jet this season.
Germany is home to what many consider to be the most classic of European holiday traditions. Christmas carols, shared meals and Santa Claus (Nikolaus) are all key components of German festivities, but one charming addition is in early December, usually around the 5th or 6th of the month, children leave their boots outside of their front door overnight.
In the morning - provided they have been good – they will discover that their boots have been filled with sweets, chocolates, fruits and nuts. However, if they have been bad, Nikolaus' counterpart, Knecht Ruprecht will visit and leave twigs in the boots instead!
Sweden, Denmark and Finland
Though Scandinavia is not very far away from Germany, December 13th sees a different holiday tradition take place. To celebrate St. Lucia's Day, the tradition dictates that the eldest daughter in each family wakes everyone up, and dresses in a white dress with a red sash and twig crown for the day. The family then light up the home with candles and fairy lights, and many communities hold their own parades with one chosen 'Lussi' at its centre. Rather sweetly, this is often referred to as 'little Yule'.
As Turkey is often considered as a bridge between the West and the East, the nation has very carefully considered the notion of Christmas within its borders, and today, you will most likely find that western Christmas traditions take place around New Year's Eve. Especially true in the city of Istanbul, shops and restaurants decorate their interiors with typical Christmas fare, and you will find that many hotels offer a festive menu towards the end of December.
Typically, Kenyans spend their Christmas at home with their close family - but as the country develops, this - more often than not - means the cities tend to empty as people head back to their more rural childhood homes.
You can expect a Christmas in Kenya to be a full-on affair! With celebrations often lasting over two whole days, holiday traditions in Kenya seem to be all-or-nothing. Homes are decorated in flowers, and families will indulge in big plates of traditional Kenyan food before swapping small gifts on the 26th.