Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Effingham, IL / Effingham Radio

The Christmas season is filled with many different traditions. While many take part in the customary holiday feasts and gift giving, some traditions give a twist to the season. Check out some of these traditions from around the world below

The Yule Goat

In many Scandinavian countries,a straw goat ornament, called the “Yule Goat” is hung on Christmas trees. In Gävle, Sweden, a large Yule Goat is erected at the beginning of Advent. Since the Gävle Goat’s was first built in 1966, it has been burned down by vandals. It has since become a sort-of tradition to keep watch over the Gävle Goat, so that vandals do not have the chance to burn it down.

VRoig / CC

Caga Tio

In Catalonia, Spain, parents give a hollowed out log with a face on it to their children for them to care for.  This log is called Caga Tio. Every night, the log is fed and covered with a blanket. On Christmas, songs dedicated to logs are sung to the Caga Tio. It is then beaten with sticks like a piñata until it excretes candies.

Hiding Brooms from Witches

In Norway, residents hide their brooms on Christmas Eve so that witches and the like will not stop by. Likewise, a male family member also shoots a shotgun out the front door a couple times to ward off evil spirits.


In Germany, Austria, and Croatia, they not only celebrate the coming of Santa Claus on Christmas. They also have Krampus. Whereas Saint Nicholas rewards nice children with goodies, Krampus punishes the naughty children. Krampus is made to look like a goat or a devil.



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