A World of Joy: Christmas Traditions from Across the Globe
For many of those who celebrate, Christmas is an opportunity to return to their homes and loved ones. While others enjoy creating the warmth and comfort of ‘home’ by bringing cherished traditions to new surroundings. For its renowned centre of business and creative innovation, Cambridge is becoming home to people from across the world. Whether they stay for two weeks, two years or a lifetime – our city thrives on this international and welcoming spirit. To honour both the festive season and the diversity of our Cambridge community, Your Space has been doing some research. We’ve looked at the symbols, sights and smells which define Christmas cheer around the globe. We are excited to share just some of the wonderful customs and traditions we learnt about with you today.
Cambridges’ Traditions of Santas on the River, England
It’s mostly believed that Father Christmas’ traditional mode of transport is a sleigh. However, a Cambridge Christmas involves keeping your eyes open to spot the jolly fellow gliding along the River Cam by punt. often accompanied by an elf or two. Sometimes, there’s multiple Santas on the water, so people have to decide for themselves which one is real! If you’d like to find out more about Cambridges’ tradition, you can read more about it here.
Traditions of Cookie Parties, Canada
The kitchen often becomes the warm heart of the home at Christmastime. As the special day approaches, many Canadians celebrate by inviting friends and family to their houses to bake cookies together. Each person brings their own special recipe for everyone. The end of the gathering, all had an assortment of cookies to enjoy and sweet memories to treasure.
Traditions of Carving Radishes in Oaxaca, Mexico
Wherever they are in the world, people with a connection to the Mexican city of Oaxaca may buy a radish to help them feel festive. But this vegetable isn’t for the Christmas meal… Over a century ago, enterprising farmers noticed the popularity of wooden carvings being sold at Christmas markets in Oaxaca. With this in fact, they created their own designs using radishes.1897 their popularity grew, the mayor declared 23rd of December ‘La Noche de Rabanos’ (the night of the radishes). Since, the celebration is an integral part of the Christmas countdown. The locals take part in a carving contest, creating nativity scenes and whimsical castles.
A Seafood Banquet, U.S.A
For Italian-Americans, a highlight of the festive season is known as ‘The Feast of the Seven Fishes.’ This special meal takes place on Christmas Eve and involves families gathering to eat seven seafood dishes. The tradition has its background in the Roman Catholic custom abstaining from eating meat on the eve of feast days. Fish was seen as an acceptable alternative, and the significance of the number seven in the Bible. Majority of modern-day Italians aren’t actually familiar with the tradition. Descendants of those who emigrated to the United States, regard the ‘Seven Fishes’ as a way to celebrate their heritage. Seen as a time of year when thoughts are turned to the value of community and belonging. The beloved customs used to celebrate ‘our’ Christmases have the power to kindle connections. With those around us creating a sense of closeness to people and places many miles away.
Here at Your Space, we believe that wherever someone has travelled in the world, they should feel that they are ‘coming home.’ We are proud that our serviced apartments offer Cambridge visitors a place to stay in which they can celebrate any special moment. By decorating sizable living space, cooking for guests in fully-equipped kitchens or taking the time to relax. If you are planning to celebrate Christmas with a glide down the Cam, radishes, cookies or not at all. The Your Space team hope the end of 2022 sees you happy and well, and we wish you all the best for the new year ahead.