The Rich Heritage of Christmas Traditions

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Family traditions, especially traditions associated with holidays, help form the heritage of each individual. Along with the pedigree charts, group sheets, and family histories that naturally come with genealogy work, a rich resource that could uncover new perspectives on your ancestors is to discover more about their family traditions.

Perhaps your ancestors were immigrants to a new country and brought with them traditions from their native land. This Christmas season we suggest you search out a Christmas tradition from the country of one of your ancestors, and document it for future generations.
Here are some examples of Christmas traditions from around the World to help get you started.

One of the most unique traditions we discovered in our search happens a in Finland. Just before the start of Christmas festivities, families and friends go to the sauna and then dress up in clean clothes for a Christmas dinner, which is usually served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In Central Europe countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary, the main celebration happens on Christmas Eve. During the day, individuals usually don’t eat. In some areas children are told they’ll see a golden pig if they can make it until dinner. The actual meal served varies from country to country. For example, in the Czech Republic their meal includes a fish or cabbage soup and breaded roasted carp with potato salad. In Poland, the meal often includes Golabki filled with Kasza, Pierogies, Borscht, and pickled Herring. A wonderful common holiday tradition in these countries is for people to gather together as families. Many families bring their grandparents into their homes during Christmas.

One of the best resources we found online (besides Google!) to learn more about Christmas traditions around the word is Wikipededia at

Share what you find with your family!

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