12 Unique Christmas Traditions Celebrated Around the World

By: Andrea Romano | Pulished on 2023-12-07

Yule Lads, Iceland

Iceland has several unique Christmas traditions, ranging from the "Christmas Book Flood," when everyone receives at least one book for Christmas, to the baking of customary leaf bread. The Yule Lads are rooted in Icelandic folklore. During the 13 days leading up to Christmas, little ones put their shoes out each night, and in the morning, they'll find a small present from these 13 mountain trolls if they've been good — or a potato, in lieu of a lump of coal, if they've been bad. Another seasonal character, the Yule Cat, has been depicted as the Lads' pet since the last century, according to the University of Iceland’s Icelandic Folklore website. The legendary creature has been rumored to eat naughty, lazy children who don't receive new clothes for Christmas (a common reward for well-behaved kids who do their chores).

La Quema del Diablo, Guatemala

12 Unique Christmas Traditions Celebrated Around the World-Trip Advise

This ceremonial “burning of the devil” is a prelude to Christmas celebrations in Guatemala, and as Inside Edition reported, a custom that dates back to the 16th century. Residents sweep up, collect garbage, and amass everything in a huge pile outside. After an effigy of the devil is placed on top, the whole thing is set on fire, burning negativity from the past away once and for all.

More Article