West indian countries

How these countries decorate Christmas trees

From pickles to crystal spiders, each country has its own traditions when it comes to decorating the Christmas tree.

In December, families from all over the world come together to fulfill one of the most universal Christmas traditions – decorating the tree. Sparkling strings of lights bathe homes in a festive glow as adults and children bask in the warm energy of the holiday season. Different places adorn their trees with different things, echoing the diversity that makes our planet such a beautiful place. Get into the festive spirit with this list revealing the unique decorations that grace trees in homes around the world.

ten Brazil – Cotton balls

Even the biggest snow-hating Scrooges may admit that there is something special about a White Christmas. In the southern hemisphere, Christmas takes place during the summer, which means only a miracle could cover the streets white. For the Christmas spirit in the heat of summer, Brazilians often decorate their trees with cotton balls to mimic falling snow. In recent years, the practice has spread to other places that appreciate the earthiness of natural ornamentation.

9 France – Apples

People adorned their Christmas trees with edible ornaments long before the invention of candy canes. In France, apples were a common embellishment for the tree due to their association with the Garden of Eden. A bad harvest year ended the practice, but it is still common to see apple-shaped ornaments hanging from the branches of Christmas trees in France. In the heart of Strasbourg, the largest Christmas tree in the country is decorated according to a theme that changes every year.

Related: Only One European City Holds The Title Of ‘Christmas Capital Of The World’

8 Ukraine – Spiders and webs

The sight of a spider in a Christmas tree might cause some people to run the other way, but not in Ukraine. A folk tale from Eastern Europe called “The Legend of the Christmas Spider” tells the story of a family who could not afford to decorate their Christmas tree. They unfortunately fell asleep on Christmas Eve and woke up the next day in front of their tree covered in cobwebs that glowed beautifully in the morning light. The legend gave way to the decoration of trees in Ukraine with ornaments and crystal cobwebs. The spooky robot is associated with good fortune.

seven Australia – Seashell ornaments

Australia is another place in the world where Christmas falls during the warmer months. Residents reflect on the holiday spirit despite the lack of snow. Celebrants soak up the sun by decorating their trees with seashells. Australians often abandon the Christmas tree altogether and prune a Christmas bush instead. The native plant takes on a festive shade of red during the summer, making it an ideal decorative piece.

6 China – Red paper lanterns

Christmas is not celebrated in China on the same scale as the more densely populated Christian regions of the world, but it is not uncommon to see the holiday flaunt in major cities like Beijing and Hong Kong. The trees themselves are called “trees of light”. Popular decorations are red and usually include beautiful paper lanterns and chains to symbolize happiness.

5 Netherlands – Biscuits

It’s common for kids to forget a plate of cookies and a glass of milk to appease Santa Claus, but the Dutch do things a little differently. In fact, Saint Nicholas (called Sinterklass) arrives by ship from Spain in early December with gifts to kick off the holiday season. Baking trays filled with kerstkransjes bake to perfection in the oven. The wreath-shaped cookies are strung and hung from the branches of Christmas trees in the Netherlands.

4 Finland – Straw ornaments

Those celebrating Christmas in Finland can expect to see a more classic version and a minimalist, understated color palette. Traditional straw mobiles called himmeli hang delicately from the branches. Families get together to decorate the tree and the adults usually feast on a delicious glass of mulled wine. More elaborate himmelis hang like chandeliers above the table for Christmas dinner.

Related: Get In The Holiday Spirit With These European Christmas Markets

3 United States – popcorn garland

While not as common as they once were, many Americans pay homage to traditional Christmas decor by decorating their trees with popcorn garlands. Some people opt for pre-strung recreations that use artificial materials. Others include hand-threading real popcorn into their vacation activities.

2 India – Mango trees

People would be hard-pressed to find a conifer in India, but the lack of pine does not tarnish the joy of Christmas. Instead, Indians generally beautify mango or banana trees. The Indians will drape white woolen sheets over the branches to imitate snow. Other decorations are quite colorful and consist of tons of vibrant stars and homemade ornaments.

1 Germany – Pickles and Candles

So many of the world’s most beloved Christmas practices and decorations come from German traditions, including Christmas markets, nutcrackers, and Advent calendars. The act of bringing trees inside and decorating them is considered by historians to have originally from Germany.

At first, the trees were often fitted with real candles, the soft flame creating a magical and festive glow. Many Germans carry on the tradition rather than using electric lights, although this is probably a custom that is probably the safest for households without cats. Although no one knows the exact origins, hanging a pickle ornament is a custom in Germany that has spread to other parts of the world. Supposedly, whoever finds it first is given good luck for the New Year.

Next: These Beloved Foods And Traditions Are At The Center Of Every German Christmas

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