Our Favourite Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Great Race loves Christmas and if you pop into our office anytime in November or December, you’re likely to see at least one of us wearing a Santa hat or Reindeer antlers!


We’re always on the look out for fun new traditions and games to use in our Christmas themed events so we thought we’d share some of the most unique traditions we’ve stumbled across.


You may have already heard of Krampus from the dark 2015 film featuring Toni Collette but the tradition originates in Austria. Krampus is a beast-like demon and St Nicholas’s evil side kick who kidnaps naughty children and stuffs them in his sack. In the first week of December, Austrian’s dress up as Krampus roam the streets frightening children into good behaviour!


Do you know that the Japanese celebrate Christmas with Kentucky Fried Chicken? It’s completely true. Every Christmas season over 3.6million Japanese families pre-order KFC to enjoy on Christmas day. The KFC chains in Japan even offer a special Christmas dinner that requires ordering weeks in advance.


Christmas Eve and Christmas Night are considered especially sacred in Estonia where children are sent to collect straw and then play with it. I haven’t played with straw recently but I hear it’s a rager.

It is also a good time for fortune telling as ancestors spirits are said to visit their families homes during this time and predict the next years harvest.

The penultimate Estonian festive tradition is the Christmas eve sauna with your family.  I’m not sure what this achieves but maybe there is less likely to be fights over lunch if you’ve all been a little vulnerable and sweaty with each other the night before.


Greek families leave a fire burning over the Christmas season in the hope of scaring away the Killantzaroi who are a race of goblins who emerge from the earth and wreak havoc during the 12 days of Christmas. They are trouble makers who might sour your milk or braid your horses hair. I know my horse hates having his hair braided.


If you happen to be at Caracas this Christmas, you’ll want to bring your rollerblades. The cities residents rollerskate to church the morning of Christmas eve and enjoy the ceremony sitting, standing or skating. The streets of the city are closed to cars on this morning so people can skate to church safely.


If you would like us to jingle your bells- drop us a line. We won’t make you take a sauna with us but we know how to bring the sugar, spice and all things nice to your Christmas Party!