Here in the United Kingdom when we think of Christmas, we think of Father Christmas and Mince Pies, but what if that was replaced by pickles and Christmas shoes. Read on to find out some Christmas Traditions from around the world.


Christmas trees in the Ukraine are traditionally covered in artificial cobwebs and spiders, this tradition derives from an old Folk tale where an old widow could not afford to decorate her tree for the children, when they woke Christmas morning spiders from inside the house had took pity on the family and covered their tree in magnificent spiders’ webs. Once these webs hit the light, they turned into gold ending the family’s poverty.

South Africa

In South Africa children don’t look forward to Mince Pies or your favourite tin of chocolates, throughout the month of December they snack on deep fried Christmas caterpillars from the Pine Tree Emperor Moth. It is said those that eat them will have extra luck the coming year.


In Italy rather than Santa Claus some children wait for a kind witch called Befana. She flies round on her broomstick on the eve of Epiphany delivering presents and filling stockings. She also tidies up before she leaves, Italian Parents leave her a glass of wine as a thank you.


In Germany the last decoration to be placed on the Christmas tree is the pickle (usually a blown glass ornament) , this is generally handed down through the generations. Parent’s will hide it somewhere in the tree and the children in the household are then tasked with finding it, the first one to do so gets an extra gift and good luck throughout the year.


Children in the Netherlands put out Christmas shoes rather than Christmas stockings, they do this on the eve of December the 5th They leave carrots in their shoes for Sinterklaas companion a white horse called Amerigo and in exchange receive small gifts.

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