Five Surprising Christmas Traditions from around the World

How many of these Christmas customs did you know?

Christmas is coming and here are some Christmas traditions from all over the globe to get you in the mood. If you want to experience them firsthand, plan a trip and pick one of our apartments—it would make a great Christmas present for family or friends! May the yuletide spirit be with you!

Perfect destinations for a different Christmas

Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan: Italy at Christmas is all about the legendary Befana, a smiling old witch who flies across Italy on her broomstick on the night of 5 January in search of children who have been good (or not so good). Good children get sweets and gifts; bad children get lumps of coal. You’re likely to find her at the Christmas market in Piazza Navona in Rome!

Legendary Befana

Prague: Prague at Christmas has lots of unique customs, including two linked to single women. Tradition has it that if a single woman puts a branch of a cherry tree in water on 4 December and it flowers for Christmas, she’ll soon be married! And on Christmas Eve, Czech single women stand with their back to their front door and throw one of their shoes over their shoulder: if it lands with its toe pointing towards the door, she’ll get hitched within the next 12 months.

Barcelona: Catalonia has some of the most unusual Christmas customs. One of the most popular is the Caga Tió, a hollow log wearing a typical Catalan hat and with a smiling face that shits out presents for children, provided they follow the rights steps: cover the log with a blanket to keep it warm and feed it from 8 December to Christmas Eve. On that magical night, they sing to it while hitting it with a stick, and on Christmas day the presents appear.

Caga Tió

Miami: you’ll have a very different Christmas in Miami. For over 40 years, they have held a traditional parade of boats decked out in Christmas decorations and Christmas lights. The Winterfest Boat Parade in Miami takes place in early December along the Miami coast and every year more and more people come to watch. After all, it’s not every day you get to see a parade of classy yachts decked out in Christmas decorations! You can also sip cocktails or enjoy an exclusive dinner on board…

Winterfest Boat Parade

San Sebastián and Bilbao: if you wake up in San Sebastián or Bilbao on 25 December, bear in mind that it’s not Father Christmas who brings the Christmas presents, but Olentzero! One of the best-loved Christmas characters in the Basque Country, this legendary charcoal burner comes down from the mountains on a giant Pottoka pony to deliver presents to the towns and villages.

Noelia - Marketing Team

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