Christmas Around the World

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In Ukraine the Christmas tree is covered with spiders, Japan celebrates Christmas at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and in Austria men are dressed as demons to scare children. These are some of the different ways our world celebrates Christmas.

Photo courtesy of 123rf.com

Christmas is a holiday where families get together to enjoy different tradition sand to spread joy.  In Japan, even though few people are Christian, a large majority celebrate this holiday by visiting KFC. The tradition started all the way back in the 1970s when Christian tourists and immigrants stormed the American fast food chain, KFC, because they could get something familiar like chicken or turkey. “My children and I think it is a natural tradition,” says Ando, a resident in Tokyo.

Austria is where the story of Santa Claus’s evil follower, Krampus, was born. The story started around the 1950s when a demon-like creature was spotted living in the Alps, who only came down around Christmas-time to punish Austria’s misbehaving children. Each year around November and December, people dress up as Krampus and stomp around to scare children.

Similar to how Austria celebrates with a dark character, Ukraine has dark decorations. Decorating the Christmas tree with spiders and cobweb is a tradition that comes from an old story about a poor woman. The woman could not afford to decorate her tree, but on Christmas Eve the tree was decorated with shiny spiderwebs and spiders. Today, the special decoration is said to bring luck.

There is no rule for how Christmas should be celebrated. Isabell Rosario, student at Snow College, thinks Christmas is mostly about being with the family. “We may not do extraordinary things, just sitting together watching Christmas movies is a tradition for us.”

Dress as Krampus or decorate the tree with spiders and eat KFC. It’s that time of the year when traditions are celebrated.

Jennifer Brethack is from Stockholm, Sweden and is currently a senior at Snow College studying for a bachelor’s in Public Relations. She has previously studied for a bachelor’s in Economics in Sweden and is now planning a career in the marketing field. She hopes to work as a PR agent or with a marketing agency.

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