Whilst the end of December is universally a happy time with high hopes of renewal and spirits shining bright, the holiday season looks very different all across the globe. Take a trip with us to see what Christmas traditions look, taste, and feel like around the world.
Shop the Gendarmenmarkt in Germany
Christmas Markets are a worldwide sensation, bringing the bright lights and gift shopping to their pinnacle. Cities across the globe put up their best markets, but the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin truly shines! The ultimate combination of live music and circus performances, artisanal crafts, and gourmet food and drink, this market reigns Berlin for 11 hours a day between the end of November through to New Year’s Eve.
Eat Christmas Cake in Japan
Fluffy, round, white sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries in between: Japanese Christmas Cake, or kurisumasu keki, is nothing short of divine! Less than one percent of Japan’s population identifies as Christian, but this cake has become so ubiquitous during the holiday season that everyone has a taste to celebrate.
Visit ‘The Tree’ at Rockefeller Center in New York City
Rockefeller Center’s massive Christmas Tree has become an iconic symbol of the holiday season. Since the 1930s, the tree lighting ceremony in Midtown Manhattan has been the unofficial beginning to the holiday season on the US East Coast. Today, from November to December, Rockefeller Center is taken over with oversized decorations to match The Tree, as well as happy tourists trying their hand - or feet - at the legendary Rockefeller Plaza Ice Skating Rink.
Attend the Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines
San Fernando earned its prized title as the Christmas Capital after it began hosting the annual Giant Lantern Festival. Lanterns made from brilliantly coloured paper and light create intricate, mesmerising designs. These works of art symbolise light and hope, core values for the Filipino people.
Light a candle on Día de las Velitas in Colombia
Colombia kicks off its Christmas season on the eve of the Immaculate Conception with Día de las Velitas, or Day of the Little Candle. Each city or village celebrates a little differently - some with candles, some with lanterns, and others with fireworks. But everyone shares the public practice of making light to honour the Virgin Mary and gather in celebration.
Beware the Krampus in Austria
A creepy creature, The Krampus is Austria’s answer to what happens when little children are naughty. If they’re nice, they get a treat from St Niklaus; if they’re naughty, The Krampus, a horned beast, will take them away. Traditionally, The Krampus is meant to appear on the eve before the Feast of St Nicholas. These days, Austria holds Krampus Parades, where children are welcome.
Head to the beach in Australia
Home in Australia, Christmas is synonymous with a beach picnic. Most Aussies celebrate with a cold seafood lunch, a game of beach cricket, and merry times near the water, making the most of the summer season.