5 Unique Holiday Traditions Around the World

We’re lucky to live in a city that takes the holidays very seriously; whether you’re walking down Park Ave or getting your holiday errands done at Macy’s, you’re sure to stumble upon some fabulous celebrations, holiday decor, and festive music. But when you travel somewhere different for the holidays, you’ll learn about some amazing and unique traditions! Here are some of the coolest ways the holidays are celebrated all around the globe.

Christmas Markets in Germany

In cities all over Germany — from Cologne to Berlin– you can find amazing pop-up markets that offer everything you could want to celebrate. From freshly made gingerbread to hand crafted toys and holiday decorations, these holiday markets are the place to be. Learn more about these markets here!

Menorah Lighting in Israel

If you’re in Israel for Hanukkah, you won’t want to miss the menorah lighting at the Western Wall. Each night of Hanukkah, there is a special candle-lighting ceremony, which is broadcast live on the Western Wall’s official Facebook page.

Santa Dash in Wales

How’s the weather in Wales around Christmas? Cloudy, with a chance of a sprinting Santa. Every year, thousands of Welshes participate in a 5k, dressed completely in Santa attire. It’s quite a sight to see, and worth a wait at the finish line in the cold!

Lantern Festival in the Philippines 

Americans decorate their homes; the Filipinos light up the city! On the Saturday before Christmas Eve, the country celebrates Giant Lantern Festival, with a competition of enormous decorative lanterns. The lanterns, which are often star-shaped, can be as big as 40 feet in diameter, and require over 4000 light bulbs.

New Year’s Eve on the Beaches of Brazil

How does a New Year’s countdown by the ocean sound to you? If these temperatures in New York continue to drop, we say sign us up! In Rio de Janeiro, Brazilians dress in white and celebrate the New Year on the beach. The party is complete with fireworks and a sacrifice of flowers to Yemanja, the Afro-Brazilian goddess of the seas, who represents abundance, safety, and fertility.

Do you have any unique holiday traditions you want to share with us? We’d love to hear about them! Tweet at us at @KidsAtArtNYC. Have a wonderful holiday, and a happy new year.

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