Click on the location markers to discover unique holiday customs from the seven continents!
Instead of the usual firs and pines, Kenyans decorate the Cypress tree for their holiday celebrations!
It's a creepy-crawly Christmas when Emperor Moth caterpillars are deep-fried and served as a treat.
Santa wears blue instead of red, and sports a traditional Korean hat.
Christmas Day is for couples who exchange gifts and spend time together. In fact, Christmas is not officially celebrated in Japan, where the Emperor’s birthday takes center stage on the 23rd.
What could be cuter than elephants dancing on the streets? That's what happens in this part of the world!
Talk about unique Christmas trees! Indonesians craft them from chicken feathers. This is most common in Bali where they are made.
Locals run a "Race Around the World," using any kind of transport, including your two feet. Before you say this is even tougher than the Hardrock100, know that 3 laps around the globe at each line of longitude in Antartica is equivalent to just 2 miles in total! Phew.
Locals light bonfires along the banks of the Mississippi River so “Papa Noel” doesn’t lose his way.
Mobile, Alabama (USA)
Alabamans put on Elfapalooza, where you wear an elf costume. The goal? To break the Guinness world record for most Santa's elves in a single location. They haven’t beat the record held by a company located in Thailand just yet.
Mexicans celebrate by serving Rosca de Reyes (rings of the kings), a special cake with a figurine of the baby Jesus inside. Whoever finds the figurine in their slice throws a party on February 2nd.
In Santa’s summer home, Christmas dinner is seal, whale, and reindeer meat. Delicacies like mattak (whale skin) and kiviak (a dish of meat, fat, blood, herbs, and berries wrapped in Robbenbalg then frozen) are also dished out.
In some regions, men and women have fistfights and dance to settle old scores before the New Year in a tradition known as Takanukuy. After fighting, they dress in their best and sit down to a Christmas feast.
Locals celebrate with fireworks (quema polvora) throughout December. They also have a tradition where paper globes (elevar globos) are lit from inside and released to the sky.
Children receive gifts from "Goedoe Pa" or "Dearest Daddy," who travels with his helpers to deliver Christmas goodies. Kids find gifts and poems in their shoes on December 6th.
The julbocken's (“yule goat”) role shifted from being the deliverer of gifts (Santa or Julenisse’s predecessor) to a Christmas decoration made of straw put on or under the tree or used as public displays. Sadly, they're often the victims of arsonists.
Germany & Austria
German and Austrian kids probably find being good all year easier because if they’re bad, Krampus appears and threatens them with a good spanking. Unlike jolly St. Nick, Krampus is a creepy combination of goat and demon.
Santa is a witch named Befana. She comes after Christmas on January 6th to leave gifts in your stockings and sweeps your house to clean it of last year's bad vibes.
In the land down under...
Forget warming yourself by the fireplace. Aussies like to celebrate with barbecues and outdoor gatherings on the beach!
This is where the Carols by Candlelight tradition originated. Today, everyone goes outdoors to light candles and sing Christmas songs all over Australia.
Definitely where summer meets Christmas. Australians use the flowered Christmas bush and Christmas bellflower as decorations. Ferns, palm leaves, and evergreens are common decorative accents as well.
How do you say "the Three Kings" in Mexican? Los Reyes Magos (the trio trumps Santa in this part of North America)
How do you say "Merry Christmas" in Indonesian? Selamat Netal
How do you say "Santa Claus" in Afrikaan? Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) or Kersvader
How do you say "gift" in Russian? подарок (pronounced podarok)
How do you say "Merry Christmas" in Spanish? Feliz Navidad
How do you say "Santa Claus" in German? Knecht Ruprecht
How do you say "Merry Christmas" in Australian? Merry Christmas, Mate!