The Most Wonderful Time to Take a Trip


When you hear Christmas, what do you think? A big, jolly man in red, delivering coal to the naughty children? Swarms of elves working day and night to make presents for the good boys and girls? It’s easy to get lost in our own plentiful western Christmas traditions, but with so many countries around the world celebrating the same holiday, some variation is to be expected. Here are some interesting Christmas traditions from around the globe:

Peru:Image result for takanakuy

In the Chumbivilcas Province near Cusco, Peru, there is a very unique festival celebrated on Christmas day. Aptly named Takanakuy, meaning “when blood is boiling” in the regional language of Quechua, the festival is a means of resolving conflicts throughout the year. Citizens of the Province challenge those with whom they’ve had difficulties in the past year to a fist fight in front of the rest of the town’s residents. The fights are well regulated, with well-defined rules and even a referee to prevent anything from getting out of hand. The matches typically end in a handshake or hug as a sign of forgiveness. This, ultimately, introduces the new year with a sense of camaraderie and a sense of resolution.


Image result for ukraine christmas

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the seemingly endless mounds of food but Ukraine doesn’t play when it comes to Christmas. On Christmas day, a twelve-course meal is prepared for the entire family, but there’s quite a wait before digging in. As part of the holiday tradition, the family’s youngest child stares out the window waiting for the first star as a sign for the feast to begin.


Australia:Image result for australian christmas

You may be used to “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” every holiday season and bundling up to watch your favorite Christmas movie but over in Australia, Dec. 25 falls on the peak of the summer heat. Often bordering on 100°F, Christmas day down under is celebrated similarly to the Fourth of July here in the United States. With weather like this, beach days and barbecues are commonplace on the Australian Christmas day.


Image result for kallikantzaroiIn the United States, the modern tradition of the elf on the shelf has made its way into many households celebrating Christmas. The point of these elves is to not be spotted in action and to report back to the big man in red himself. While many elves seem to have fun and make small messes at the expense of the parents, they have nothing on the “kallikantzaros” in Greece. In Greece many people believe in the “kallikantzaros;” which are goblins who cause mischief on the 12 days leading up to Christmas.