Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Romantic Holiday Traditions From Around The World


A Cherry Blooms – On the fourth day of December, which is Saint Barbara’s Day, young women place a single cherry twig in a glass of water. If it blooms before Christmas Eve then good luck and a marriage are likely to follow.


Molten Tins – On New Year’s Day, folks gather to pour molten tin into buckets of icy cold water. As the tin cools, the resulting shapes made are used to predict the future. Of course, hearts and rings are the most hoped for shapes by those looking for love.


Looking for Good Luck – Men and women looking for good luck in the coming year and perhaps just to get lucky, wear red underpants on New Year’s Eve. As our mothers always reminded us…make sure they’re clean and no holes.

The Night of the Radishes – On the 23rd of December, in the city of Oaxaca, families come together to carve nativity figures out of none other than the humble little radish. The finest of the carvings are put on display in the town square.


Gone but Never Forgotten – During Consoada, the traditional Christmas Eve feast, an extra seat is placed at the family’s table so that the spirits of the departed can join in the festivities. There are similar traditions around the world. Some leave the seat open for the baby Jesus.


An Almond in the Pudding – A creamy rice pudding dessert called Ris à la Malta is traditionally served at the Christmas feast. An almond is hidden within the pudding and the one who finds it in their bowl shall marry within the year.


A Spider’s Kindness – An old folk tale tells the story of a poor widow and children who could not afford decorations for their Christmas tree. The mother and children sadly went to bed and fell asleep. Early the next morning, they woke to find the tree covered with cobwebs. When they opened the windows, the first rays of sunlight touched the webs and turned them into gold and silver. The widow and her children were overjoyed. From then on, they never lived in poverty again. Today, trees are decorated with ornaments resembling spider webs and an artificial spider is sometimes hidden within the branches for good luck.
More consistent traditions such as a 12-course meal, each dish representing a disciple of Jesus, and carols being sung following the meal also continue today.


A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe – the tradition of hanging mistletoe dates back to the Druids. A symbol of fertility because mistletoe remains green in winter and bears fruit in the form of berries, receiving a kiss a beneath it from a suitor, lover, or spouse ensured a happy relationship. Popularized in 18th Century England, the magic of the mistletoe continues a Christmas tradition even today.


King Cakes – Usually associated with New Orleans and the Mardi Gras celebrations there, many Americans now celebrate with King Cakes. In celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany or Twelfth Night when it’s said the three wise men visited the baby Jesus, a tiny baby figure is baked inside the cake and the person who finds it in their slice is promised good luck and is named ‘king’ or ‘queen’ for the rest of the party. It also becomes their duty to bring the next King Cake.


A New Year’s Kiss – I don’t think anyone really knows how this tradition began but do we really care since it’s one of the most anticipated events of the holidays for when the clock strikes twelve and the New Year rings in, couples around the world share a kiss.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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