Back to top

’Tis the Season in Europe Again!

’Tis the Season in Europe Again!

December 21, 2022

Every European country has holiday traditions; some you would expect, and others…not so much. We thought you would like to hear about a few more customs. We will start with the German pickle. Yep, it’s a German tradition. A pickle-like ornament (not the real thing) is hung on the tree and is usually passed down through generations. The first child to find it on the tree gets a gift along with good luck for the coming year.

In France, it is a tradition that each Christmas Eve, three tablecloths are set out with 13 desserts. Everyone is expected to try a little of each dessert. The desserts must stay out for three days. In Croatia, children clean their shoes and put them in the window. Good children will find sweets and presents in their shoes the next day. Naughty children will get a golden switch.

In Hungary, it is customary to cut up an apple into as many slices as there are family members at the dinner table. Everyone eats their piece of apple, ensuring all will be together at the dinner table the next year. In Russia, there is a New Year’s tree with decorations, such as toys, cones, lights, and a star topping the tree. At midnight, all make wishes, eat, and drink.

In Ukraine, many people decorate Christmas trees with artificial spider webs (and maybe a fake spider)! This tradition came from a legend about a widow who received good fortune from spiders. A spider spun a web to decorate the widow’s tree, and the web turned to gold and silver in the morning sunlight.

Maybe your family practices these Old World traditions, or perhaps you can start some new ones this holiday season.

Sheri V.
Midwest Genealogy Center

View All Blogs

Read Similar Blogs:
Genealogy
Holidays

Resources You May Also Like

North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial to 1950

Explore women's diaries and correspondence to 1950.
More Info

Access NewspaperARCHIVE

Search hundreds of newspapers from more than 400 cities.
More Info

Civil War Service Reports of Union Army Generals

Access the Service Reports of Union Army generals.
More Info

Events You May Also Like

Blogs You May Also Like

The Forgotten Christmas Specials
Read More

The Forgotten Christmas Specials

’Tis the season for the most beloved “classic” Christmas specials to make their annual appea
Explorar la Herencia Hispana
Read More

Explorar la Herencia Hispana

Gracias por celebrar el Mes de La Herencia Hispana con la Biblioteca de Mid Continent. 
The Keeper of the Details
Read More

The Keeper of the Details

My oldest cousin ferreted out that our grandmother’s sister, Great-Aunt Eva, knew a wealth of family history.
Great skier? Maybe the Circuit Rider!
Read More

Great skier? Maybe the Circuit Rider!

When I was an avid cross-country skier, one ‘snowshoe itinerant’ was brought to my attention.

Was this page helpful? Yes No