Christmas Traditions Across the World

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas time is a special time of year to get together with your family and friends. Many of us have family traditions that we look forward to each year. This week in our blog, we thought it would be fun to share with you a few fun Christmas traditions both in the United States and around the world. Read on to learn about Christmas traditions from our family of hotels in St.Robert, Mo.

The Giant Lantern Festival - Philippines 

The Giant Lantern Festival is celebrated in the Philippines each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. Eleven villages in the Philippians participate in the festival and compete to try and build the most elaborate lantern. Spectators all across the country and even around the world travel to participate.

Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas Dinner - Japan 

Christmas in Japan has never been a big tradition countrywide. You may see a few light displays and some do a gift exchange. However, a tradition that has really taken off is a KFC Christmas Dinner! The KFC Japan website even advertises it! 

The Yule Lads - Iceland 

In Iceland, for the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 troll characters come out. The "Yule Lads" visit children all across Iceland over the 13 days. Each night, children place their best shoes by the window and a Yule Lad leaves gifts for nice boys and girls but if you've been naughty, you get rotten potatoes.

Saint Nicholas' Day - Germany 

 In Germany, on December 6th Nikolaus travels by donkey in the middle of the night leaving treats such as chocolate, coins, oranges, and toys in the shoes of children in exchange for a small treat or reciting a poem, song, or drawing a picture. Nikolaus also brings along his sidekick Knecht Ruprecht, a devil-like character with bells and a dirty beard. If children are bad, Knecht Ruprecht carries a stick or small whip to punish children who misbehave.

The Lighting of National Hanukkah Menorah - Washington. D.C. 

Hanukkah is celebrated all across the United States, a Jewish holiday celebrated by many. In Washington, D.C. a giant nine-meter Menorah is raised on White House Grounds. For the eight days and nights of Hanukkah, a new candle is lit. The first night when they raise the Menorah, there is music, speeches, fun games for the kids and more.

Christmas Bonfires - Louisiana 

In Louisiana, in the smaller communities along the Mississipi River, they light bonfires along the river on Christmas Eve to help "Papa Noel" (the name for Santa in French)  find their way to the children's homes.

We hope you have a great holiday season with your family and friends celebrating your family traditions. If you're visiting family over the holidays around Fort Leonard Wood and you still haven't booked your lodging accommodations, it's not late to book your stay with Fort Wood Hotels! Our hotels near Fort Leonard Wood and staff consistently earn top awards, and our unbeatable guest satisfaction speaks volumes about our commitment to you. It all comes back to offering hometown hospitality and giving the guests what they need. Offering many options to fit anyone's needs, we know one of our properties will be the perfect home away from home when visiting family over the holidays!

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