The History and Culture of Europe, shared with you by our European volunteers!

8 de Maio de 2019.

(Inter)national traditions

Dutch people do not celebrate Christmas as much as their neighbors Many holidays are celebrated worldwide and while the holidays might be international, every country has its own traditions. In the Netherlands, Easter is usually only celebrated by children who excitedly explore their gardens in the hope of finding sweets and chocolates and getting a glimpse of the Easter bunny. While Christmas is a holiday that is very popular in many western countries, Dutch people do not celebrate it as much as their neighboring countries. The streets are decorated with many lights, Christmas trees are sold and many gifts are bought. But most of these gifts are unwrapped on the 5th of December instead of the 25th. In the Netherlands […]
6 de Maio de 2019.

Traditions in Austria

Fake Christmas trees and a lack of snow. Christmas 2018 will always be a curious memory for me. Since Christmas is always associated with snow and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, this year Christmas on Madeira was quite different from what I’m used to. In Austria, the main celebration of Christmas takes place at the 24th, whereas here the people care more about the 25th. Usually, we buy a Christmas tree around the 22nd and decorate it on the 24th. Afterward, we go to church, eat some Fondue and receive presents. To be honest, nothing too special. My favorite Christmas habit is called “Christbaum loben” it if a funny thing to do and works as follows. After you served your time […]
3 de Maio de 2019.

Traditions in Finland

Finnish traditions are very different from many other countries! Christmas traditions in Finland Finland is the home of Santa Claus and Christmas Land. That is one reason why Christmas in Finland can be truly memorable especially for visitors. Finnish traditions are also very different from many other countries and regions in the world. They have some similarities with neighboring Scandinavian countries and some traditions are shared among other Christian households around the world. The first Sunday in December is called the First Advent and it is the start for the Finnish Christmas season. Many children – and why not adults also – use advent calendars for counting down the days until Christmas Eve. Those calendars come in many forms from […]
1 de Maio de 2019.

Traditions of Vorarlberg

Church services start at around six in the morning. Christmas and Advent is a very special and important time at my home. Winter is coming, the skiing season starts and it might snow a little. On the first of December, the Advent starts and every child is allowed to open the first door of their Advent calendar. Another tradition is the Advent wreath, it is a circle made of fir branches and with four candles on top. The last four Sundays before Christmas one candle is lit, and so on until Christmas day, when finally all four candles burn. Another typical thing is Rorate. These are church services which start at around six in the morning and end with breakfast […]
29 de Abril de 2019.

Christmas in Silesia, Poland

We celebrate it a bit differently than in the rest of the country. Christmas in Poland is a very special time. But in Silesia, the region where I was born and raised and where all my family lives, we celebrate it a bit differently than in the rest of the country. The most important day is Christmas Eve on the 24th of December. At my home, the preparations start early in the morning when all of the women (me, my mother and my grandmother) start cooking dishes for the dinner, bake cakes and make makówki – my favorite Christmas sweet dish made of poppyseed, nuts, and bread. When the kids spot the first star in the sky, the whole family […]