Sample Essay on Curious Christmas Traditions Around the World

merry christmasThis is a sample essay to encourage students to write engaging essays on winter holidays. So, if you do not know what to disclose in such a paper, grab these ideas.

Christmas is an annual festival celebrated on December 25th to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the most celebrated annual festival in the world, with billions celebrating it for religious or cultural reasons. Christmas traditions vary from country to country and are largely determined by the culture, value, and history of the people celebrating it. Christmas traditions could be religious if it is celebrated by Christians. Examples of traditions observed by Christians include: attending the Mass and church services, singing hymns, and giving alms to the poor.

Cultural Christmas traditions are observed by most non-Christian countries where Christmas is mostly celebrated for its cultural and societal values. These cultural traditions are diverse and differ from place to place. Also, because of its diversity, some of these cultural Christmas traditions may be strange, fetish or even curious.

Curious Christmas traditions can include mythical figures. For example, in Norway, household brooms are hidden on Christmas Eve to prevent witches from stealing them. Another curious Christmas tradition is seen in Austria where children are warned of Krampus, a devil that beat naughty children with branches. Another form of scary Christmas mythical figure is seen in Iceland where a mythical beast called the Yule Cat attacks anyone who isn’t given new clothes for Christmas. Furthermore, in Greece, the Kallikantzaroi, which are evil goblins said to emerge during the twelve days of Christmas to wreck the havoc.

There are also curious Christmas traditions that concern food. For example, in Catalonia, Christmas Eve is celebrated with a pooping log. In this celebration, a log is fed with sweets, fruits, and nuts as well as beaten with sticks on Christmas Eve to poop out the sweets. Another curious Christmas tradition about food can be seen in Greenland where raw whale skin, blubber, and the bird is eaten as a Christmas Delicacy. In Japan, there is an unusual order of KFC on Christmas Eve.

Christmas traditions can also include omens and signs. For example in the Czech Republic, women who are single throw a shoe behind their back. It is believed that if the shoe lands with its toe pointing towards the door, she is likely to get married the next year. In Great Britain, it is believed that if a person turns the Christmas pudding in a clockwise direction and makes a wish, the wish is likely to come true.

Christmas traditions also include community participation and festivals. In Bavaria, people celebrate Christmas by firing mortars into the air. In Finland, families celebrate Christmas by lighting candles and placing them on the graves of loved ones to remember them.

Curious Christmas traditions are mostly observed by non-Christians who celebrate Christmas for cultural and societal reasons. Most of these traditions stem from mythology, signs, omens, and beliefs about food. Also, these curious traditions add to the diversity of human life and make it more beautiful. Just as someone rightly said, “there is beauty in diversity.”


  1. In the U.S., Christmas Not Just for Christians”. Gallup, Inc. December 24, 2008.
  2. “The Global Religious Landscape | Christians”. Pew Research Center. December 18, 2012.
  3. “Christmas Strongly Religious For Half in U.S. Who Celebrate It”. Gallup, Inc. December 24, 2010. Haid, Oliver (2006). “Christmas markets in the Tyrolean Alps: Representing regional traditions in a newly created world of Christmas”.
  4. In David Picard, Mike Robinson. Festivals, tourism and social change: remaking worlds. Buffalo, New York: Channel View Publications. pp. 216–19. ISBN 978-1-84541-048-3.
  5. “An Introduction to Christmas Traditions”. BBC. 2005-12-23.
  6. “10 Christmas superstitions and traditions.” Karl Fabricius, December 6, 2010.
  7. “Christmas Traditions around the World.” Jeff Thoreson.
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Posted in Essay Sample, Writing Blog at February 10th, 2018.
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