25 Unique Winter Traditions Around The World You Might Not Know About

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It may not, however, be Christmas time. One thing most cultures around the world have in common is a celebration of some kind to brighten the darkest and shortest days of the year. Almost world wide there are special foods, costumes or your best clothing. Often there are dances or rituals to ward off bad spirits and some form of showing gratitude. While the individual celebrations and traditions may differ, they all have in common a look forward into the new year, a light in the middle of winter, and a reason to celebrate. To show how many cultures celebrate the darkest months in different ways, here’s a list of 25 Unique Winter Traditions Around The World You Might Not Know About.


In Austria, Krampus comes and visits children much like Santa. Unlike Santa, however, Krampus comes to punish naughty children, and if he finds a particularly naught one, he takes them away with him in his sack. In Austria and other parts of Europe, people dress up as devils and witches to participate in the Krampuslauf (Krampus Run), which apparently involves getting drunk and carrying torches while dressed up as a devil to scare people.

gruss_vom_krampusSource: http://cullmansense.com/ Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Three Kings Day, or The Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6th as the day the Three Kings visited the Christ Child. (By the way, if you ever wondered about the 12 days of Christmas, they begin on Christmas Day and end on Three Kings Day.) In some countries, like Spain, this is the day children actually receive their gifts, as the Christ child also received His first gifts on this day.

nativity-sceneSource: 123holiday.net Image Source: publicdomainpicutres.net

Losar is the Tibetan word for New Year, and the Tibetan New Year is celebrated for 15 days. Traditions include the consumption of a special fermented drink called chhaang, the eating of special noodles, special dances in costumes, and on the last day, preparation and cleaning for the new year and the Dali Lama offers a sacrificial cake in the main temple.

losarSource: https://en.wikipedia.org Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Since 1929, the sitting President of the United States has lit the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC. Surrounding the main tree are 56 smaller trees, decorated for each US state or territory. The National Christmas Tree is a living tree that remains in place year round.

white_house_and_the_national_christmas_tree_in_washington_dSource: http://www.fxva.com/ Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Eid Al Adha (or the Festival of the Sacrifice) is a Muslim holiday celebrated on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar, and lasts until the 13th day. It celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to God. Families dress in their finest clothing to perform the Eid prayer, and then families who can afford it sacrifice a halal animal. The Animal is then divided into three parts - one for the family, one for friends, and one for the needy.

abraham's sacrificeSource: wikipedia.org Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:David_Teniers_after_Veronese_-_Sacrifice_of_Isaac.jpg

SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

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