Posted by Carter | Under Holidays
Thursday Dec 22, 2016
Holiday Celebrations From Around The World
If you are anything like me, you’ve been getting pumped for the holidays since school started. I am already exhibiting the kind of spirit usually reserved for cheer captains at pep rallies. Give me a C! Give me an H! Give me an R! Okay, you get the point. Maybe it’s the romance of the glistening snow, or the gluttonous amounts of sweets, but holidays are just more fun in the winter. Here are some unique traditions from around the world that are certain to delight folks of all ages and denominations. Reserve an affordable car rental from Kemwel, and embark on a holiday road trip through Europe to experience Christmas traditions in Austria, Hanukkah celebrations in Israel, and even pagan ritual ceremonies in England!
Christmas Traditions in Austria
Christmas in Austria may be more fun and beautiful than Christmas anywhere else in the world, as the month long celebration is infused with Old World tradition. St. Nicholas day falls on the 5th of December, during which the local bishop dons his most regal vestments and plays the role of the saint. The bishop travels from door to door and rewards good children by filling their shoes with loads of sweets. He is accompanied by the Krampus, and I will be honest with you here, the Krampus is absolutely terrifying. The demon-like figure is present to reprimand the naughty children, usually by playfully attacking their legs with a switch.
On Christmas Eve, household trees are lit up for the first time and families often sing Silent Night, which is a favorite among Austrians, as it was written and performed for the very first time on December 24, 1818 in the small village of Oberndorf. Santa doesn’t deliver presents in Austria; instead children believe their gifts come from das Christkind, or the Christ Child. Families then feast on meals of carp, goose, ham, mulled wine, and lots and lots of chocolate treats. Kemwel offers cheap car rentals in Austria, so you can experience the Old World charm for yourself!
Celebrate Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel
Hanukkah is the commemoration of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem’s rededication during the Maccabean Revolt and is a national holiday in Israel. Where better to join in on the celebration? Also known as “the Festival of Lights,” a candle on the menorah is lit for each night of the holiday, and you will see the flames flickering from every window illuminating the streets in a soft glow.
Like Christmas in Austria, Hanukkah in Israel offers up some pretty delicious traditional foods. Can’t you just hear the sizzle of a potato latke being flipped on the pan? Breathe in and smell the scent of warm sufganiyot filling the air. This delectable jelly donut is a favorite holiday treat among locals.
Perhaps the most joyful part of traveling to Israel for Hanukkah is the children. As they are free from school, you will find them singing songs, putting on plays, and making the whole holiday much merrier. It is nothing short of delightful to catch them playing with their dreidels in the street or spot them running to the bakery with their Hanukkah gelt. You will find yourself moved if you join locals and pilgrims on their visit to the Temple Mount, the very site of the reclamation we celebrate today. Kemwel offers cheap car rentals in Israel, so you can experience Hanukkah at its root!
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Ceremony
If you are seeking a truly unique and mystical holiday experience, a trip to Stonehenge for Yule will not disappoint. The Neolithic monument draws a remarkable number of Pagans from all over the world for the Winter Solstice, and they are given access to the stones to perform their ceremonies. Though people of many paths attend, the rituals are mostly of the Druid tradition. Many of the world’s modern Christmas traditions have their roots in the ancient celebrations of Yule.
It is widely believed that the Winter Solstice was one of the most important events of the year to those who constructed Stonehenge. Though there is still much debate about who built the monument and why, the stones are aligned with the sun on both the Summer and Winter Solstices.
Apart from learning about interesting practices of the old ways, Yule at Stonehenge is just plain fun. The beauty of the snow laden landscape will leave you breathless and the high spirits and positive energy of the revelers will have you feeling uplifted. Just be sure to dress warmly, as a snowball fight is almost inevitable. Join in on the merriment with a cheap car rental in England from Kemwel!
Enjoy a Holiday Vacation with Kemwel
When you’re ready to embark on a holiday vacation in Europe, you can trust Kemwel to provide you all your travel needs at an affordable price – whether you need discount hotel accommodations, international airfare, or cheap car rentals, Kemwel has you covered!