India's Hindu population typically observes this time of year by placing clay oil lamps on the roof in honor of the return of the sun. Twitter. But in Iran, Yalda Night makes the solstice unique. There's a tradition known as "first-footing", in which the first person to cross a home's threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year – as long as the guest is dark-haired and male. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support LifeSavvy. People all over the world participate in festivals and celebrations. Although Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. On Hanukkah, many Jews also eat special potato pancakes called latkes, sing songs, and spin a top called a dreidel to win chocolate coins, nuts, or raisins. To show how many cultures celebrate the darkest months in different ways, here’s a list of 25 Unique Winter Traditions Around The World You Might Not Know About. People all over the world participate with festivals and celebrations. Often there are special foods and lots of light to brighten the darkness of winter! Nearly every culture has traditions that mark the changing of seasons, the winter solstice, and the season of giving. Hygge isn’t a specific tradition or celebration: it’s really a feeling—one that doesn’t have a direct English translation. Three Kings Day (or Día de los Reyes) is primarily celebrated in Latin America and Spain and is also called the Feast of the Epiphany. Like Yalda Night, this celebration focuses on the return of the sun after the longest night of the year. Still, even if you’re not into Christmas, or New Year’s, or the rest of it, you probably have some personal winter traditions that ground you in the season. This day commemorates the time when, according to Christian lore, the Three Wise Men arrived to give baby Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts. Soyal is another solstice celebration, but this one belongs to the native Zuni and Hopi tribes of North America. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. Many countries around the world have some kind of festival or celebration for the winter solstice or beginning of the New Year—either celebrating Christmas or another winter holiday, celebrating the coming of spring and return of more daylight, or gathering with friends and family to tough out the harsh winters. The cows are venerated during this time, and they are decorated with floral garlands and their horns are painted. The person who finds the figurine has to cook the tamales for February’s Candlemas celebration. Yule Craft Projects for the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox Celebrations Around the World. 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People make nativity scenes that show baby Jesus as having been born in a cave, not a manger. Long ago, people celebrated by lighting bonfires and candles to coax back the sun. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, articles, and more. LifeSavvy is where you learn new skills for a better life. It is steeped in tradition. Traditional Three Kings Day celebrations involve a feast with “king’s bread” for dessert, which has a figure of baby Jesus hidden inside. This lends itself perfectly well to traditions, from the small and personal to the large and cultural. In Colombia, the Christmas season kicks off on December 7th with Día de las Velitas or Day of the Little Candles. It is a little long and more complex if your audience is a younger group of children (younger than 6 or 7). On Coptic Christmas Day, feasts commemorate the holiday, with traditional dishes of mackerel and tilapia on the menu. Children leave out glasses of milk for the Juulnisse, which are elves that live in peoples' homes, and for Julemanden, the Danish version of Santa Claus. Yalda is viewed traditionally as the victory of light over dark, and the birthday of the sun god Mithra. It’s also known as Soyaluna or Soyala. Some of the best winter vacation spots are hiding right in plain sight: explore majestic ice sculptures in China, watch twinkling lights in the Netherlands, compete in winter games in … But the drawn-out winter holiday season can feel exhausting if the holidays aren’t your favorite thing (or you don’t celebrate them). A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Instead, a sprig of basil is wrapped around a wooden cross to protect the home from the Killantzaroi, which are negative spirits that only appear during the twelve days after Christmas. The celebration may have begun as a harvest festival, when farmers and fisherman took time off to celebrate with their families. Chinese New Year falls in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. The Persian festival Yalda, or Shab-e Yalda is a celebration of the winter solstice in Iran that started in ancient times. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. Winter Solstice Celebrations Around the World The Winter Solstice is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. This holiday can bring a whole village together s also known as the wife is kneading dough. China is the author of Daily Spellbook for the good witch, Wicca Practical Magic and entire... 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