Christmas is finally here! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and around the world today, people will sing carols, drink eggnog, hang shiny baubles upon the needles of Christmas trees, and exchange presents with treasured family and friends. Though most Yuletide traditions remain the same around the world, the spirit of Christmas is celebrated in a multitude of ways around the world. From Japan to Budapest, Christmas takes on a festive visage unlike the Western ideal of Christmas Day celebrations. Join us, as TheVibe travels to the corners of the world to celebrate Christmas with one and all!
1. Gramado Natal Lutz – The Brazilian Christmas of Lights
The phrase ‘Natal Luz’ translates to ‘Christmas of Lights’, a rather apt description of this annual event held in Gramado, Brazil. Beginning as a small concert in the year 1986, the event has since grown into Brazil’s largest Christmas event, with Gramado earning the title of the Christmas Capital of the area. The festival includes contests, games, parades, musical performances, cultural activities and the ceremonial lighting of a 99-foot tall Christmas tree, which affords visitors a taste of being inside the gargantuan structure. Complete with over 3,500 ornaments, 2,600 string lights, 1,000 strobe lights, and an artificial snow machine, the 99-foot tall tree is the perfect attraction for those looking to get into the festive spirit.
2. 12 Days of Christmas Market – a Waterside Christmas at the Dublin Docklands
What better way to spend Christmas than with a morning swim on the 25th at the Forty-Foot sea-water pool? Get into the uniquely Irish spirit of the season with Dublin’s 12 Days of Christmas Market at the Docklands in Ireland. Sip on a cup full of traditional German mulled wine at this charming waterside village setting, complete with over 80 market traders selling a range of Christmas gifts, seasonal food, and stocking fillers. Christmas lights, ice skating, Christmas markets, and seasonal cheer abound on the streets on Dublin, while the carols at St. Patrick’s Cathedral carry on the wind in idyllic festive fashion.
3. Santa Claus Village – Finland’s Festive Wonderland
Take a trip to the North Pole and meet up with Santa at this magical Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. The Official Hometown of Santa Claus in Lapland, visitors may experience crossing the Arctic Circle to meet with St. Nick himself! Meet with Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen at the Reindeer petting zoo, and ride sleds under the glow of ethereal Northern Lights or take your snowmobile over to Mrs. Claus’ Cottage for a sip of hot cocoa, Santa’s village is here to satisfy all your Christmas cravings!
4. The Toboggan Run at Château Frontenac – A Canadian Christmas Château
One of the oldest cities in North America, the colonial French settlement of Quebec City has an air of the European countryside. From cobbled streets to quaint gift-shops, the merry little city is the perfect picture of Yuletide tradition. The traditional toboggan run is one of the very oldest, and most thrilling attractions in town. With three icy runs to be undertaken upon a 4-person sled, visitors may spend their wintertime vacations zooming down icy tracks overlooking the city at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour!
5. Christmas in Ice – The North Pole’s Playground of Ice and Snow
What better place to spend the Christmas season than at the North Pole! One of Alaska’s most popular Christmas Festivals, the annual Christmas in Ice festival is a showcase of breathtaking works of art, made entirely from ice! With ice-sculpted decorations, an Ice Park, picnics under the stars, and a fireworks show for the whole family, Christmas in Ice is a winter wonderland the likes of no other!
How do you celebrate Christmas in your part of the world? Let us know!
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