Christmas Around the World

While it’s always nice to spend the holidays with family and friends, sometimes we need a little break – something new and different. You’ve grown up in one country and culture and you know what Christmas is about. There’s the tree, the lights, the presents – a portly and jolly Santa Claus in a red and white suit with a team of reindeer, red-nosed Rudolph in the lead.

Have you ever stopped to wonder, though, if this is all there is? How do people in other countries and cultures celebrate Christmas? Sure, you can read about it, but what fun is that? How much better would it be to hop on an airplane, get paid to do it and spend Christmas each year in a different country?

Celebrate the “Yule season” in Iceland, which stretches from Dec. 23 to Jan. 6. This consists of traditions that began with the ancient pagan religions and each day brings something new. In Iceland, from Dec. 23 until Dec. 26, people are not allowed to dance in public!

In the Netherlands, children leave a shoe out on Dec. 5 for Sinterklaas (whose day is Dec. 6), and sometimes hay and carrots for his horse.

And in some parts of Romania, which also celebrates on Dec. 6 and through to the beginning of January, it’s traditional for someone to dress as a goat, or Capra, and travel around with carolers. The Capra’s role is to dance around and cause mischief during the singing.

Which country’s or city’s holiday traditions would you most like to experience? It’s all out there waiting. All you have to do is hop on that plane!

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