11 December 2017. So often, the holiday season becomes associated with stress and obligation, endless eating and drinking and socializing and shopping until you can hardly wait for it to all be over. Even the most earnest attempts at holiday mindfulness and self care can be futile against the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It can be a fun respite to refocus for a minute and learn about holiday traditions from around the world. Here are a few that caught our eye:
-In Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken is a holiday staple. Lines for food snake down the block, and people place orders for holiday spreads up to two months in advance. Fried chicken for the holidays became popular in Japan in the 1970s when the chain began advertising special holiday meals for foreigners. The trend caught on among the locals who, like many humans, can do little to resist the comforting, salty call of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
-Hogmanay is the name of the last day of the year in Scotland, as well as the celebration of the new year. As part of Hogmanay, the first person who steps over the threshold of a home after the clock strikes midnight forecasts the luck of that household for the coming year. Men with dark hair are the luckiest “first-footers” to welcome into the home. The type of luck depends on the gift this person brings--salt, coal, cake, or whiskey, to name a few.
-Old Man Bayka strides up and down the streets in Liberia on Christmas Day. Rather than doling out gifts, he asks for gifts from passersby, stoking the holiday giving spirit from a different angle.
What are the holiday traditions you’ll be savoring amidst the rush? Feel free to let us know! We’ll be here, relishing the smells of crackling fires and hot toddies, just a couple of our favorite holiday mainstays.