Connectivity has never been about a bunch of wires. It’s about you and everyone in your life. Right now, you’re probably getting together with loved ones to celebrate traditions. Even if you find yourself half the world away from your nearest and dearest – through connectivity you’re never truly apart. It’s especially at this time of year that the stronger human elements in all of us are brought out. The unique ways in which we mark the festive period. And through connectivity, we’re able to share them with others. In that spirit, here’s some festive traditions from countries in our global network:
Burn the goat, Sweden (where we also have our HQ)
Each year, a 13-meter Yule goat made of straw is put up in the town square of Gävle in Sweden. As traditions evolve, it is now customary to see how long it survives before vandals set it on fire.
Night of the Radishes, Oaxaca, Mexico
Do you like art? Do you like vegetables? If it’s ‘yes’ to both, then you’re in for a treat. It started in the late 19th century when traders in the town plaza would do amazing carvings with radishes to attract customers coming out of mass. It’s been going on ever since and is held on December 23rd.
Dashing, drinking Santas, USA
Ever been on a pub crawl dressed as Santa in the name of charity? Then you’ve probably taken part in the Running of the Santas. Starting in Philadelphia, this tradition has spread across the U.S. raising money for local charities while bringing thousands of people together in festive cheer.
Festive skies, San Fernando, The Philippines
The Giant Lantern Festival is held on the Saturday before 24 December. Eleven villages take part and lanterns can be up to six meters long, with electric bulbs illuminating them.
Badni Vecher veggie fest, Bulgaria
On December 24th, families gather for the most important meal of the year. It’s custom to have either 9, 11 or 13 dishes on the table for good luck. If you only have 12, whip out the salt shaker as this counts as a dish. Oh, and it’s strictly vegetarian. A seat is also set out for the dearly departed.
Two miles of lights, Singapore
Twinkly lights and glittering trees. Elaborate decorations and street performers. The smell of delicious cuisine filling your nose from all directions. Throw all this into one street and you have Christmas in Singapore – on the famous Orchard Road to be precise. The lights stretch as far as two miles, go up as early as mid-November and lasts till New Year’s Day.
Fiesta de Los Tres Reyes Mages, Spain
Santa comes a little late to Spain. Or rather, he doesn’t really deliver the gifts so much as the three magic Kings. And not on Christmas Day, but at Epiphany on the 6th of January. Kids leave out cognac, satsumas and walnuts for the wise men, as well as buckets of water for their camels. If they’ve been good, they’ll find gifts in their shoes they’ve left out to be filled.
‘Tis the season for Tabbouleh, Lebanon
In place of turkey and cranberries, Lebanese families enjoy kibbeh – a lamb-rice dish, and burghul with tabbouleh – a parsley salad. They usually gather at the grandparents’ or eldest son’s home for their traditional Christmas lunch.
Whichever way you choose to celebrate the holidays, do it in the spirit of connectivity. And with this said: Season’s greetings from the carrier of festive cheer!