Religious celebrations such as Easter and Christmas are some of the most anticipated dates for millions of people around the world. Of course, each country has its own traditions and ways of celebrating these expected times of the year.
Did you know about Samaritan Friday in Mexico, the Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines or about the Gävle giant goat in Sweden? Take a look at these fascinating traditions that are carried out around the world by Christians.
This is one of the most awaited days of the year for Colombians, as it marks the beginning of the Christmas festivities. Candle Day is celebrated on December 7 in commemoration of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
On the night of this day, people from all over the country take to the streets to light candles and lanterns in honor of the Virgin. Part of the traditions also indicate that candles are lit to light the way for the Virgin Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem.
Easter is undoubtedly one of the times of the year that has the most traditions and symbolism for Christians around the world. Precisely, on Good Friday, the day that Jesus is crucified, recreations of the so-called Via Crucis are performed. In some parts of the world, people who decide to incarnate Jesus are actually whipped and crucified, a custom that has generated more than one controversy.
Also known as penitents, caps, papones or mozorros; Nazarenes have become protagonists of some of the most popular Christian traditions in Spain. During the Easter festivities, these characters are a fundamental part of the massive processions that take place in all corners of the country.
The fourth Friday of Lent is a very special day for the inhabitants of Oaxaca in Mexico, as the popular Samaritan Friday is celebrated. On this day, the people of the city prepare waters of different flavors to give to other people. This tradition recalls the well-known passage from the Bible of the Samaritan Woman, which Jesus asks to drink a little water.
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In some parts of Central America, such as the city of León in Nicaragua, there is a colorful tradition that paralyzes some of the most popular streets. During the days of Easter, artists gather to decorate the streets with beautiful figures created with sawdust of various colors.
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Every year, the city of San Fernando is transformed into a place adorned by gigantic and colorful lanterns created by artists who come from all over the country to participate in this festivity. The Giant Lantern Festival takes place on the Saturday before Christmas.
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Since 1966, the creation of this peculiar 13 meter straw goat in the city of Gävle has become one of the most anticipated traditions of the Christmas season in Sweden. Curiously, the goat has also become the target of another tradition, since on 29 occasions it has been destroyed by vandals who have set it on fire.
For generations, for Norwegians, it has been a tradition that on Christmas night they hide their brooms in some remote place of their houses, since on this night it is believed that evil spirits and witches are in search of brooms in which to go riding the world.
Perhaps one of the most popular Christian traditions around the world is to light the streets with allusive Christmas motifs. Cities such as New York and Toronto have transformed the turning on of the lights into one of the most anticipated events for all its inhabitants during Christmas time.
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