For a couple of jolly-filled weeks each year, the world takes on a different feeling. People appear happier and even the cold setting feels cozier. Whether it be a religious festival that is held or a more temporal occasion, every person has traditions that make the holiday season special. Traditions around the world are setting off as the month of December begins and they can seem quite odd to some, but can guarantee fun for all.
In the Philippines, on the Saturday before Christmas Eve, there is a Giant Lantern Festival held. Spectators travel all across the country and even the globe to witness the beautiful sight. Almost a dozen villages participate in the festival and competition is fierce as everyone battles to see who will produce the most creative lantern. These lanterns are made from Japanese origami paper, or “papel de hapon” and are lit by candle. Many are illuminated by electric bulbs that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of varying patterns.
Another is in Austria where Krampus, Santa’s evil other half, roams the streets in early December terrifying kids with dangling chains and chiming bells. While St. Nick rewards young children with small presents and candy, Krampus would capture naughty kids and take them away in a burlap sack.
One of the most peculiar traditions would take place in Norway. The tradition dates back to times when people believed witches and demons walked the earth and came out of hiding to find a broom to ride on. Townsfolk would hide away their brooms in the safest place they could find in the home to prevent the evil spirits from having a broom to fly off into the night.
Every country has its own unique traditions. Given that they may come off as weird or strange, it's seen as a common occurrence that brings joy, or fear, into the hearts of everyone. Regardless of whether lanterns are being lit and flown into the night sky or if running from Krampus is seen as a fun time, the holiday season is one to remember.