If you are one of those people, who, after having pinned the last silver star to the Christmas tree, feel that it’s just like the last Christmas, here’s a breather. Though the three essential Fs of Fun, Family and Food will always be there, it’s time you tread a new road, travel to a different horizon. Here’s wishing you a different Christmas, from world over.
Skate Your Way To Church On Christmas At Caracas, Venezuela!
By James Lee
Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, goes abuzz, literally, on Christmas eve. Reason for all this buzz – the whole town skates down to the church to attend the Early Morning Mass. And you don’t need to give a hoot if you are not a pro at skating and fear that you may stall the traffic, more effectively than the traffic lights, for roads are closed to all sorts of vehicles before 8 am. Whoa! Now that’s a different Christmas.
Play Good Santa, Bad Santa at Belgium.
If you want a lesson or two to be taught to the naughtiest of the family, head straight to Belgium. Here, a different version of Santa is on the prowl! St. Nicholas dons the ‘bad Santa’ garb, ticking off the pranksters from the presents’ list, handing over the list to Pere Noel, the good Santa. Presents for those not on the Naughty Kids’ List and twigs for the other set of achievers. Set a different tone to this year’s Christmas. Belgium calling!
Candle Light Graveyards at Finland.
By Esa L
Well, Santa’s home can never be off this list! And before you thought it’s just usual celebrations with rum cakes and butter pastries, there’s a catch. Families visit graveyards to pay respect here. With kids scurrying around, some out of fear, some out of curiosity! Candle lights are the only compass one can have while navigating the graveyards, as soft, white curls of snow descend to bless one and all. Ain’t it a different Christmas now?
Santa Has Eyes At The Back Of His Head At Japan.
By Jenny Spadafora
If Christmas has become too much of a ‘red Christmas cards’ affair for you, head off to the land of the rising Sun, Japan. Here, red cards are sent to someone who’s in mourning. Making it more different is the belief that Santa Kurohsu, Japan’s Santa, has eyes at the back of his head to keep an eye on the naughty kids. Strawberry cakes with cream, although red, are the favourite flavour of Christmas. Serve yourself some dollops.
Incy Wincy Christmas At Ukraine.
By Cath Walker
If you’re scouring for something different from those twinkling, colourful fairy lights, Ukraine is the place to be. Time for a surprise, for you’ll find artificial spider webs, often silver coloured, hanging from the Christmas trees here. It signifies a poor man’s idea of decoration, and trust us, it looks enchanting. Just don’t get entangled in one of those. Watch out!
Meet The Witch Who Works For Santa At Italy.
By Mirona Iliescu
Italy is perfect for the kiddos out there. Especially the meek ones who flee at the mere sight of a broom-riding witch on cartoon shows. That’s right, for La Befana, the Kind Witch, hands over the presents in the streets of Italy on Christmas. Make merry; Christmas is no time to be scared.
Estonia Turns Hot For Christmas!
By Unique Hotels
If giving a break to your nerves this Christmas is what you are looking for, Estonia is calling out. It’s more than just a break, as the state sees droves of people going in for sauna baths! Yes, that’s a Christmas eve custom here! Feeling rejuvenated is the key it seems.
Greenland Ain’t That Green After All.
By Lisa Risager
Apart from the imported Christmas trees, for it’s too cold for the trees to grow here, there’s more to the white Christmas. That strange, sinfully scrumptious dish on the plates here is – hold your breath – mattak, made of whale meat and blubber. Plus, there’s auk, a small arctic bird, on the platter, too, doused with all the flavours and love that Christmas is known for.
Oh Starry Night At Brooklyn!
Well, you just can’t forget Brooklyn and its novelty Christmas lights! With millions of twinkling bulbs lighting up this borough of the New York City, you’ll just sigh in the happiness of it all. The 16 km stretch that covers Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge is a fairy land on the Earth, all decked up for the Christmas festivities. Even Santa, with his goody bag, sweeps low over the area. There’s no way you can forget Brooklyn!
The Curious Case Of Missing Brooms At Norway.
If all the dusting, mopping and vacuuming for the Christmas time has got on your nerves, take a break. All that you need to do is to head to Norway, a place where you would see no brooms around Christmas! Reason – Norwegians believe that witches might come out of their hiding, steal the brooms, and create panic and chaos. Solution – Stack away all the brooms! Well, that’s a Norwegian Christmas for you. Mop off the worries.
About the Author
Shikha Gautam loves to travel, read, play the flute, guitar among other things…..not necessarily in that order! You can contact her on twitter @Shikha Gautam