START

Unique Ways to Celebrate Traditional Winter Holidays

You can celebrate the holidays however you want.

Ah, it is the holidays. How wonderful. It is time for regular holiday things like decorating a tree or singing a joyous carol or watching your family drink a lot of eggnog or whatever while watching a holiday movie you’ve seen approximately 100,000 times. Or… is it???? It doesn’t have to be. And if you’re like, “I would like to not do those things listed above and do NEWER, more INTERESTING things, but still celebrate my favorite December holiday,” well then, here are some ideas for you, my unique friend.

UniqueHoliday_Colosseum
PHOTO: Shutterstock
1 OF 10

Rome Has a Lot of Things Going on

How about you go to the country of Italy? What do you think about that? You’d love Italy. It has many interesting traditions for you to partake in that you probably normally wouldn’t. They’ve got tons of Christmas markets and other festive events. You can walk around and pretend you’re a princess while buying multiple statues of Santa Claus there (or whatever—that’s what I’d buy). Also, if you happen to be there for New Year’s Eve, they’ve got a live orchestral concert that takes place right there in the Colosseum.

UniqueHoliday_Scotland
PHOTO: Shutterstock
2 OF 10

Become Absolutely Exhausted at this Party in Scotland

Scotland is the place to be for New Year’s if you like doing 500 million things over the span of two days. There’s a two-day New Year’s party in Edinburgh, Scotland called Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, and it will wear you the heck out. On December 30, there’s a large torchlight procession through the streets, where you can hold a wax-based torch and march down the street with “a cast of pipers and drummers.” Then, on December 31, there’s a large street party where everyone dances and parties into the new year. Oh, and a traditional ceilidh dance party is also happening during this time. Also occurring around the area is a dog-sledding competition, more dancing and concerts, a disco for babies … the list goes on. This thing sounds exhausting–but fun! If you’re into that! Oh, and there’s also something called a Loony Dook, where you can stand in an extremely freezing river on New Year’s Day. Doesn’t this sound like a nice way to start 2018?

Continue Reading Article After Our Video

Recommended Fodor’s Video

3 OF 10

Look at Some Snow Monkeys in the Mountains & Natural Hot Springs of Japan

Don’t want to party in the streets? Me neither! Here’s an idea: Japan. The mountains are covered in beautiful blankets of snow covering cliffs, shrines, and temples. Doesn’t this sound serene? How about going to Nagano, where you can see snow monkeys taking little baths in the natural hot springs? You can do this at any time during the winter season. And, if you still want a party, there’s Oshougatsu, the New Year festival, which is being held on January 1-3, where everyone gets served sweet rice wine (cool) as they “line up to pray” (Is this still considered a party? Yes, right?). Giant bells are tolled. Sounds cool.

4 OF 10

Visit Ho Chi Minh City, Where a Bunch of Tiny Santas Are Running About

Saigon does Christmas right–the streets are covered in festive decor, and the weather is super nice. On Christmas Eve, they have fireworks, bands, and people throwing confetti everywhere at the Notre Dame Cathedral (where you can also attend a midnight mass if that’s your thing). Also, children dress up like Santa Claus, so there’s like … a bunch of small Santas running around, I guess? Which is kind of weird but probably entertaining.

UniqueHoliday_Maldives1
PHOTO: Shutterstock
5 OF 10

Sing Underwater Carols in the Maldives

Sit on a beach on Christmas instead of sitting in your family’s home. Make a dinner reservation at the Anantara Kihavah Villa’s underwater restaurant–where then they go on to describe that you will “sing carols on the beach” and then “move to your table” where you eat by a “live coral Christmas tree” (and I suppose continue singing? But maybe that’s optional?).

Book a Hotel

unique-ways-celebrate-holidays-griffith-park-train
6 OF 10

Ride a Little Train Through Griffith Park

Looking to keep it simple? You can just ride this little holiday train through Griffith Park in Los Angeles for a few minutes. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, every day for about 3-5 hours, you and your family can board this small train and ride through the festively decorated and lit-up park for one mile–and for only $4 (what a hot deal!).

INSIDER TIPThis is not a regular train–it’s a smaller version. Do not expect a large train.

 

7 OF 10

Spend Your Holiday in Transylvania????

So, you’re unique, eh? You think you’re a unique one? Well, then how about you go to Transylvania, for your holiday fun. It’s time to prove how unique you are by going to Translvania for Christmas fun. This “Transylvania Holiday Accommodation” is a nice little stay in the mountains at a guesthouse owned by an actual count. You can do all sorts of winter forest activities and adventures, and then live in the Count’s cozy little home for a few days.

unique-ways-celebrate-holidays-sweden-goat
8 OF 10

Visit This Extremely Tall Holiday Goat in Sweden

The inauguration of the Gavle Goat, the world’s largest straw goat (who also a Christmas goat) is December 3, 2017, at the Castle Square in Sweden. This goat is seven meters tall and weighs three tons. Everyone loves this large, famous goat. Attend his inauguration or just come by to say hello to him at any point during the Christmas season.

unique-ways-celebrate-holidays-los-angeles-krampus
9 OF 10

Dance at the Krampus Festival in Austria

Are you, like me, annoyed with regular, happy Santa Claus? Well, don’t you worry–because there’s an evil one in Austria, and he’s got a whole festival. There is an annual race where a bunch of people dressed like Krampus jog for a long time. Also, if Austria is too far away for you to travel, there are Krampus Festivals in lot of places. There’s one in Los Angeles, that includes a “Krampus Ball,” as well as a “Krampus Race.” So, dance in a Krampus suit, and then run in one. Lots of physical activity here! But, that’s fine! Like I care. I’ll run dressed as an evil demon to celebrate the season.

unique-ways-celebrate-holidays-cavalcade-lights
10 OF 10

Attend the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto

Get ready to go blind, because Toronto has an extremely large amount of holiday lights to shove into your holiday eyes. The city kicks off the holidays by lighting its town Christmas tree and then lighting up pretty much every other surface in existence in Nathan Phillips Square.

INSIDER TIPThis event already happened, and you cannot go to it.