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Christmas Traditions Around the World

“Planning on travelling this Christmas?”

Here's some festive traditions around the world you may not be aware of…

  • Christmas Traditions Around the World

    If you’re planning on travelling this Christmas, it’s worth familiarising yourself with local traditions. Different countries have their own Christmas traditions, so  you may not find the same ones that you’re used to seeing in Ireland.

    Here, we’ll reveal some of the main festive traditions around the world you may not be aware of. 

    Christmas traditions in Greece

    Although Christmas Day still falls on December 25th in Greece, presents aren’t usually exchanged until New Year’s Day. However, the festivities still begin on Christmas Eve. 

    Children go carol singing on Christmas Eve and the songs are said to bless the houses they visit. In return, homeowners give the children dried fruits, sweets and coins. On Christmas Day families sit down to a traditional meal of lamb or pork, alongside lemon and egg soup. Some do opt for a turkey dinner, but it doesn’t come with the trimmings you’d get in Ireland. 

    People with the names Chrysoula, Christos and Christina celebrate their Name Day during the evening. 

    Browse our festive Greece holidays today.

    Christmas traditions in the Canary Islands 

    If you’re looking to enjoy a warmer Christmas this year, the Canary Islands are a great choice. Tenerife is particularly popular, and its festivities do differ slightly to those you’re used to in Ireland.

    The main Christmas meal is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. Most residents then head to midnight mass, and it’s common for local restaurants and bars to close early. Tenerife, like Gran Canaria, also has an additional celebration known as Dia de Los Reyes. This translates to Day of the Kings and it’s held on the 6th of January. On January 5th, processions are held. Islanders dress up as the three wise men, handing out gifts to the children. 

    This is also the time local kids receive their Christmas presents. A lot of bars and restaurants are still open on Christmas Day, due to it being a year-round tourist destination. 

    If you fancy a different type of Christmas this year, check out our Canary Islands holidays

    Turkey Christmas traditions

    As Turkey is a Muslim country, it doesn’t celebrate the festive season in quite the same way we do. However, it does celebrate Santa who is known as Noel Baba. Noel is said to deliver presents to the kids on New Year’s Eve. 

    You’ll still find signs saying Merry Christmas in Turkish, and restaurants and shops are often festively decorated. However, the main difference is that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are considered normal working days. Therefore, nobody exchanges gifts or has a traditional Christmas meal on these days. The country largely focuses its celebrations on New Year’s Eve rather than Christmas. 

    If getting away from the typical Christmas traditions is appealing, check out our Turkey holidays now. 

    Wherever you’re planning on jetting off to this Christmas, it’s a good idea to research the local traditions. This will allow you to prepare for the festivities and ensure you choose the best destination to suit your preferences.  

Author: Kate.OMahony

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