Where is your family ancestry from? Our family has lots of different nationalities that run in our veins so we tend to appreciate diversity and unique cultural traditions that can enrich our lives. In this post, we want to share some cultural holiday and seasonal traditions that you might find fun.
The Danish idea of Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is all about creating an atmosphere of "cozy". The goal is to savor the simple pleasures that bring you joy, any time of year. For wintertime, things like sipping warm drinks by the fireplace, lighting candles for soft, warm lighting, or bundling up with a soft blanket and a good book, would all be considered hygge. Hygge is a cultural lifestyle lived all year long, but it can be especially useful during cold and dark times of winter.
So be near loved ones extra long, or grab some yummy hot cocoa, a good book, your soft blanket and curl up and savor the moment! Happy Hygge-ing!
Did you know advent calendars are a big thing in Germany? Many different kinds are used in German homes! So when you buy any kind of advent calendar to use in your home during the holidays, you are incorporating holiday cultural tradition from Germany!
Christmas trees are also a big thing in Germany, apparently, they were first used in Germany during the late middle ages! But traditionally the Christmas tree wasn't brought into the house until Christmas Eve!
In France, nativity figures are the thing. Some French use a Nativity crib to decorate their house. Burning Yule logs and eating a Christmas Eve dinner are also things in France.
In Norway, Christmas gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve. Norway hast its own version of an advent calendar by giving one small gift a day until Christmas. Christmas Eve is also the night they begin lighting a candle every night until New Years'.
In Belgium, the tradition is that Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) brings gifts on December 5th and 6th. Like we can go see Santa Claus at a shopping mall or center here in the U.S., Sinterklaas can often be seen at the market during the holiday season in Belgium.
The coming of Sinterklass is an event separate from Christmas. In Belgium, Christmas is more of a religious festival. As in Norway, Christmas Eve is the bigger day of eating and gathering in comparison to Christmas Day itself. On Christmas Day most families visit friends or distant relatives.
Each night from December 16th until Christmas Eve, children perform "Posadas" (Posada in Spanish means "Inn" or "Lodging"), or the part of the Christmas story when Mary and Joseph looked for somewhere to stay. During this procession, they sing a song at homes they pass. On the final night, Christmas Eve, the rest of the Nativity characters including a manger and shepherds are added.
It's fun to learn and see how cultural holiday practices are similar to our own. What cultural holiday or seasonal traditions do you practice in your own homes? Share in the comments below!