1. In Romania’s Trotus Valley, men, women, and children clad in bearskins dance at people’s homes to chase away the year’s bad spirits.
A troupe of men clad in bearskins danced through #Comanesti, Romania, stopping at homes where they had been invited to perform. In Romania’s Trotus Valley, this is a holiday tradition: Men, women and children wearing bearskins descend on homes to chase away the year’s bad spirits. The photographer @dianazeynebalhindawi, who spent her early childhood in Romania, remembered this scene fondly. Last year, she returned to photograph it. This #nytweekender, we’ll be sharing @dianazeynebalhindawi’s photos of Romania’s dancing bears, which were featured on the @nytimes #lensblog. Tap the link in our profile to see more photos. #🐻🐻🐻
A photo posted by The New York Times (@nytimes) on
2. In Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, Santa has a nasty counterpart — Krampus. He’s a warning to naughty children to shape up…or get eaten…
A photo posted by Susi Mai (@susikite) on
3. In South Wales, Mari Lwyd — a horse’s skull attached to a pole that peeks out from ribbons and a white sheet — goes from door-to-door bringing people good luck.
2. ‘Mari Lwyd’ is a Welsh folk Christmas tradition of dressing up as a ‘Grey Mare’, usually using a scary cow skull on a pole, with a sheet and wandering around your local area. The ‘horse’ would approach a house and try to enter using a song, it could be sent away; also through song, though if not, it could then enter for feeding and drink. #marilwyd #alternativeadventcalendar #welshtradition #greymare
A photo posted by @theartclassroom on
4. In Guatemala, effigies of Satan are burned atop bonfires for Quema del Diablo, symbolizing the light of the Virgin Mary and her victory over the demon.
#quemadeldiablo #guatemala @leiladari @silvannette @anadasilva22 We’ll I’m not a religious person but why did my family not mention or have us participate in this event. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SET SHIT ON FIRE!!! #FIRE #DOIT #
A photo posted by Alex Hidalgo (@wtfxalex) on
5. In Switzerland, hundred of men bearing cowbells, whips, and bishop’s hat lanterns tear after Santa for Klausjagen (Chasing the Claus) in Küssnacht.
A photo posted by Trazee Travel (@trazeetravel) on
6. In Geneva, L’Escalade involves smashing marzipan-filled chocolate cauldrons, gorging on the broken pieces, and celebrating the defeat of Savoy troops in Switzerland in 1602 with a massive Cathedral Square bonfire.
Marmite de l’Escalade 😀 友達に教えてもらったスイスジュネーブのお祝い♡ ジュネーブがフランスからの侵略を免れた記念に、一番年上&年下の子が手をつないでお鍋のチョコ(Marmite)を割ります。Martelのチョコ、最高に美味しかった！さすがスイス♡ #marmite #escalade #geneve #chocolat #martel #swiss #celebration #fete #homeparty #tokyo #マーミット #ジュネーブ #祭り #チョコレート #lescalade #marmitedelescalade
A photo posted by Asuka Nathalie Konishi (@asukanathalie) on
7. In Mexico, Noche de Rabanos sees amazing figures carved from giant radishes take over Oaxaca City’s Zocalo.
It’s about time for a #veggiefact! Did you know that in Mexico, the night before before Christmas Eve is known as the Noche de Rabanos, or Night of the Radishes? To celebrate, Mexican sculptors create Nativity scenes using very large radishes #merrychristmas #nochederabanos #radish #farmfresh
A photo posted by foodforward (@foodforward) on
8. In San Fernando, the so-called “Christmas Capital of the Philippines,” the Giant Lantern Festival sees 20ft lanterns being paraded through the streets.
Christmas trip number 2 out of our 12 is the Longest Christmas, which takes place in the #philippines. Starting in September and lasting through the first week of January, Christmas is taken seriously in this part of the world. Http://goo.gl/JF14Hp #Christmas #holiday #giantlanternfestival
A photo posted by Immersion Travel Magazine (@immersiontravelmag) on
9. In Lyon, France, locals express gratitude to the Virgin Mary by placing candles along the outsides of the the windows…and for a few days in December there are buildings that look like this:
A photo posted by 🔴 Clémence Sohier 🔵 (@clemenceshr) on
10. On Christmas morning in Caracas, Venezuela, churchgoers rollerskate to Mass. Roads are even cleared so the worshippers can have safe passage.
A photo posted by Wojtek Zawadzki (@wojsrv) on
11. In Ireland, it’s traditional to swim in the sea on Christmas morning. At some point, Santa costumes were added to the tradition…
Today’s back page picture is ‘A wave of Christmas cheer’ by Michael MacSweeney. Some of the participants in the Santa Swim in aid of the Hopr Foundation at Garretstown Beach, Co Cork, yesterday. #christmas #swim #waves #sea #beach #cheer #participants #santaswim #hopefoundation #charity #garretstown #garretstownbeach #cork #ireland #ie #irishexaminer
A photo posted by Irish Examiner (@irish_examiner) on