3 Countries, 3 Different Holiday Traditions


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Winter landscape of Prague, Czech Republic.

Emily S., Staff Writer

Here are a few unique holiday traditions celebrated throughout the world.

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Although the Dutch celebrate Christmas, they also celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Every year, St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6 and honors St. Nicholas (Sinterklass in Dutch) who was known for bringing gifts. Children prepare for the day by placing traditional Dutch clogs filled with carrots and hay for the horses, by their fireplace or door and they receive small gifts in return. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated by many Christians, mainly in Europe. (Source)


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Sufganiyot, jelly-filled doughnuts topped with powdered sugar, are a popular treat in Israel during Hanukkah. The sufganiyot is inspired by a biblical event where one night’s worth of oil lasted for eight and is often celebrated in an 8-day light festival. The small doughnut, fried in oil, symbolizes this miracle. (Source)

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Dōngzhì Festival is celebrated every year on the winter solstice. Dōngzhì means winter is coming. People worship the gods and pay respects to their elders. It is a day celebrating new optimism and rebirth into a new beginning. Often, Dōngzhì Festival is spent with family and loved ones followed by a reunion dinner and sacrificial ceremony. Many traditional Chinese dishes are enjoyed, such as dumplings and tangyuan (a traditional Chinese dessert made of rice that is shaped into a ball and served in a broth or syrup). (Source)