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These are the Most Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Annie Ward
In America, Christmas trees are usually decorated with shiny lights and red ornaments. In Ukraine, however, it is tradition to decorate the tree with spooky Halloween decorations instead.

When Christmas comes to mind, most think of holiday decorations everywhere, presents given to each other and snow on the ground. However, around the world, Christmas morning looks a lot different than in Idaho. 

In Ukraine, during holiday times, Christmas trees are not decorated with the normalized bright ornaments or lights strung throughout, but instead are decorated with spider webs. While many would see this as more of a Halloween look rather than a Christmas one, this spooky feel to the tree is very normal in Ukraine. The tradition originated from the story of a poor woman who was not able to afford any sort of decorations for her tree but found that a spider had used its webs to cover to tree instead.  

In the US, a typical Christmas dinner serves ham, mashed potatoes and stuffing, but the Japanese prefer to have Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate the holiday. According to Country Living, the heritage started in 1974 after an incredibly successful marketing campaign called “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” or “Kentucky for Christmas!.” Rather than waiting in line all day for a frozen turkey, in Japan, many will order multiple boxes months in advance to ensure all will get to dine on their “finger-likin’ good” chicken. 

Christmas is not the same for everyone celebrating around the world. In Japan, it is tradition to eat KFC for Christmas dinner rather than turkey or ham, as tradition holds in America. (Annie Ward)

“I admire the idea of not having such a big fancy dinner for Christmas and instead having a more laid-back casual meal instead,” said sophomore Bailey Roberts. “It takes the stress out of spending all day preparing for all the elaborate food but instead focusing on the time with family.” 

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Most children grow up learning about St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus. With his signature white beard and red attire, he goes from house to house delivering presents to good children and coal to the ones who have misbehaved. And yet, St. Nicholas in countries like Germany, Austria, Croatia and some other European countries, rewards kids with treats, and Krampus will “kidnap” the bad kids. Krampus is a half man, half goat originating from the celebrations of winter solstice, that have now become a part of some Christan traditions. While Krampus is not often taught to children in America, he is still a well-known character in parts of Europe to discipline naughty children.  

Whether Christmas includes putting spider webs on the tree, eating fried chicken for dinner or dressing up as Krampus to scare children, the traditions around the world  have a uniting ability to bring people together. 

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About the Contributors
Mallory Halloran, Copy Editor
Hey! My name is Mallory Halloran, and I am a copy editor this year. I am a sophomore, and this is my first year in newspaper. In my free time, I love hanging out with my friends, going thrifting, and reading!
Annie Ward, Photographer
My name is Annie Ward, and I am a photographer for my first (and last) year of Newspaper. I am a senior and I look forward to taking pictures and writing articles for The Stampede. I run track and cross country, and my favorite events are the 800m and the mile. I love to bake, bike, shop, listen to music (a lot of old Taylor Swift), and recently I have started playing the ukulele.
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