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Holiday Celebrations Around The World

Written by: Filipa Araújo

Holiday Celebrations Around The World featured image

We take you on a journey to discover the different ways people celebrate the holiday season worldwide.

Have you ever wondered if the customs and traditions in your family are the same in other families? Eating turkey for Christmas may sound odd to people in other countries, and making a snowman during the holidays wouldn’t make sense in some parts of the world. Check out the different traditions of different cultures, from Dia de Los Muertos to Lunar New Year, and all the celebrations in between!

Christmas in Finland

Christmas in Finland is one of the most magical celebrations! A northern Christmas like no other, you can immerse yourself in the full holiday experience. While some people argue that Santa lives at the north pole, Europeans will swear that everyone knows Santa Claus comes from Finland, surrounded by reindeer and soft, fluffy snow as far as the eye can see.  In Finland, you can visit the Santa Claus village in Lapland, where you can experience the true magic of Christmas and some other wonderful things, like the midnight sun and the northern lights.  

On Christmas Eve in a traditional Finnish house, dinner might include pork roast, rice pudding, and lots of mulled wine. After dinner, families pay their respects to deceased loved ones at the cemetery, and some families end their night with a warm sauna to sweat out all of the deliciousness of Christmas dinner.
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Lapland, Finland
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Lapland, Finland

Hanukkah in Israel

Hanukkah, or the festival of lights, is celebrated worldwide by Jewish people. The largest celebration, though, undoubtedly happens in Israel. The word “Hanukkah,” meaning dedication, is the commemoration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The festivities last eight nights to commemorate how long the holy light burned, and a menorah is lit each night of the holiday. One of the most beloved traditions of the holiday is all the delicious fried food, among them the “sufganiyot,” jelly doughnuts sold by the millions. These small balls of dough now come with various fillings and fancy decorations and are a must-have. Lastly, the popular game of Dreidel, still played today, involves a spinning top marked on four sides with a different Hebrew letter. Legend has it that after Greek soldiers banned children from studying Torah, they created this inventive game and studied regardless. When the soldiers came near, they simply pretended they were playing games.

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