Christmas Traditions from Around the World

December 3, 2021

Hot chocolate or glögg, Santa Claus or Père Noël, Christmas pudding or turrón. You won’t believe how different the Christmas celebrations are around the globe.

To get an insight into how diverse these Christmas traditions are, we’re sharing a compilation of some of the most intriguing ones:

Three Wise Men

According to the Bible, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed a star to visit baby Jesus. In recognition of this story, on the night of the 5th of January, Spanish families leave food and drinks for the majesties and their camels.

And what would be Christmas without food? To celebrate this day, local bakeries sell sweet bread filled with cream and candied fruit. Whoever finds the king figurine inside this treat will be crowned with the paper crown, and whoever finds the bean needs to pay for roscón next year.



The legend of Krampus in Austria and Central Europe tells the story of a devilish creature with elf ears and goat horns that travels with Saint Nicholas, the Santa Claus of this culture.

This monster chases and scares naughty kids on the 6th of December, the same day they receive their presents. Nowadays, you can find people wearing scary masks and playing spooky pranks to children and adults at Christmas markets and around the cities.


Befana, the Witch

This old Italian legend tells the story of La Befana, an Italian witch that hosted the Three Wise Men when they were going to visit Jesus. They invited her to come on their journey, but she said she had many chores left. Later on, she changed her mind and filled a basket with gifts for the newborn child, but she never found them.

So, every night on the 5th of January, La Befana takes her broom and flies looking for the Three Wise Men while stopping in every Italian house to bring presents to the kids.

La Befana

Understanding the customs of your target audience, including things, such as Christmas traditions, is vital for a successful translation. Considering this context and using it to adapt your content for a relevant audience during the translation process is known as localisation.


On behalf of all the Mission Translate Team, we’d like to wish you a happy and relaxing time over the holiday period and all the best for 2022!

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