Christmas is all about traditions. Some we love (mince pies and decorating the tree), some not so much (awkward relations and the office party). But the great thing about traditions, is that you can start your own. Start something this year and by next year it’ll be a thing. We’ve been looking around the world for some inspiration…
ONE | Community Conga from Russia
Celebrating the Russian Orthodox Christmas, is a village affair. Known as Selaviq, or Starring, in the days leading up to the Russian Christmas on January 7th, parishioners parade from house to house carrying a giant wooden star representing the Star of Bethlehem. At each house, the size of the group increases as residents join the procession. The end of the trek is celebrated with a party for the whole village – hurrah to that.
TWO | Fishy Feast from Italy
We’re big fans of traditional Christmas fare, but by December 23rd we’ve normally had enough mince pies and pigs in blankets to last a lifetime and haven’t even had the main event yet. So maybe take a leaf out of the Italian family cookbook and celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve which is, you guessed it, a seven (or more) course fish feast. Historically, Catholics were expected to abstain from eating meat or dairy on holy days, a tradition which survives to this day. We’ll be looking to our favourite Anglo-Italian cook, Skye McAlpine, for inspiration.
THREE | Nude Nights from Finland
Naked family sauna, anyone? Many homes in Finland come equipped with a sauna – naturally. And it’s not just somewhere to warm up after a day’s skiing. It’s a sacred space associated with long lost ancestors, which Finns pay special respect to on Christmas Eve. As such, it is customary for Finns to hop in the sauna after dinner en famillie to pay homage to their ancestors, before heading out into the night to celebrate. Who’s keen?
FOUR | A Fried Affair from Japan