Christmas Crazy

Go "Christmas Crazy" with a German-style market, a gingerbread house competition and the brightest light displays, plus the coolest ice sculptures and the most extreme Santas on Earth.

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Sufganiyot (Israel)

Sufganiyot (Israel)

It’s not uncommon for Jewish people to eat fried food for Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of oil, which refers to the oil in a lamp in an ancient temple lasting 8 days when there was only enough in the lamp for 1 day. Potato pancakes (latkes) are usually a common staple at the beginning of dinner, but sufganiyots (pictured) – jelly- or custard-filled doughnuts – are the most popular food eaten in Israel during this religious holiday. 960 1280

David Silverman / Getty Images  

Mince Pies (England)

Mince Pies (England)

Christmas dinner in the UK is similar to a typical Thanksgiving meal in US, which is usually comprised of roast turkey or duck with cranberry sauce, served with potatoes and vegetables. In addition to Christmas pudding, mince pie (pictured) is another popular food in the UK. This holiday treat is filled with minced meat, raw beef or mutton fat, fruits and spices. 960 1280

Donald Lain Smith/ Moment/ Getty Images  

Panettone (Italy)

Panettone (Italy)

In Southern Italians and Italian Americans celebrate the holidays by eating fish and other seafood for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. However, panettone, is a popular sweet bread loaf that contains raisins, citron, lemon peel shavings and candied orange. It is usually served with a hot drink, sweet wine or crema di mascarpone during Christmas and New Year’s Day. 960 1280

Vincenzo Lombardo / Getty Images  

Tamales (Mexico)

Tamales (Mexico)

With Aztec and Maya origins as early as 8000 to 5000 BC, tamales are a popular food eaten in Mexico during the holidays – sometimes replacing traditional turkey or bacalao. This delicious holiday treat – filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and chilies – is usually wrapped in corn husks or plantain leaves and steamed to perfection. 960 1280

Karin Dreyer/ Blend Images/ Getty Images  

Bûche de Noël (France)

Bûche de Noël (France)

Looking for something sweet in France? Don’t miss out on tasting the bûche de noël! This traditional dessert is a frosted sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream or other flavored fillings. The cake resembles a yule log. In the medieval era, families would gather and throw a yule log on a fire at the end of December to welcome the Winter Solstice. The ashes were saved for good luck.  960 1280

Junghee Choi/ E+/ Getty Images  

Melomakarona (Greece)

Melomakarona (Greece)

Pork, egg-lemon chicken and rice soup, christopsomo, baklava and yaprakia are few traditional Greek food and dishes eaten during the holidays. Top it all off with melomakarona cookies made with cinnamon, cloves and orange. After they come out of the oven, the baked goods are dipped in spiced syrup and sprinkled with nuts. 960 1280

Steve Outram / Getty Images  

Babka (Poland)

Babka (Poland)

The first star seen starts the big Christmas Eve feast in Poland. Twelve dishes, usually a variety of fish and vegetables, are served as a reminder of the 12 Apostles. Beetroot soup, carp, pickled herring, potato dumplings and cabbage rolls are a few dishes served. Don’t eat too much and save space in your stomach for some delicious babka or cake. 960 1280

Boston Globe / Getty Images  

Kentucky Fried Chicken (Japan)

Kentucky Fried Chicken (Japan)

It’s not uncommon to see a crowd at the local KFC during the holidays in Japan. Why? Because it’s usually the popular food choice for Christmas dinner since turkey is nonexistent in the country. Japanese patrons have been known to place their KFC order 2 months in advance. So plan ahead and place your order early if plan on celebrating a Christmas like the locals. 960 1280

David Silverman/ Getty Images  

Saffron Buns (Sweden)

Saffron Buns (Sweden)

Swedish meatballs, Christmas ham, sweet and sour red cabbage, mulled wine, sliced beet root and an assortment of other goodies are traditional holiday food in Sweden. Don’t forget to add a basket of saffron buns – spiced sweet buns flavored with saffron, cinnamon or nutmeg. 960 1280

Rhoberazzi/ E+/ Getty Images  

Kutia (Ukraine)

Kutia (Ukraine)

Start your 12-dish meal on Christmas Eve in the Ukraine with kutia, a sweet grain pudding made with wheat berries, poppy seeds, raisins, honey or sugar and milk or cream. 960 1280

Izakorwel/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Christstollen (Germany)

Christstollen (Germany)

Taste christstollen, the German version of fruit cake eaten during the Christmas season. The traditional German cake is filled several ingredients such as almonds, cinnamon, dried fruit and marzipan. 960 1280

A.&F. Michler/ Photolibrary/ Getty Images  

Spiced Hot Chocolate (Peru)

Spiced Hot Chocolate (Peru)

Add chili to sweet hot chocolate and you’ve just made a traditional holiday drink in Peru. Spiced hot chocolate, served with panettone (traditional Italian bread), is usually given to the poor or less fortunate leading up to Christmas. Similar to Mexico, Peruvians holiday staples include tamales and roast turkey. 960 1280

Bhofack2/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Stroopwafels (Holland)

Stroopwafels (Holland)

These deliciously thin treats are a traditional dessert in Holland. Stroopwafels’ or syrup waffles’ main ingredients are butter, brown sugar, syrup and cinnamon. Try ginger nuts, Dutch Christmas bread and bishop’s wine if you’re looking for other traditional food and drink to sample in Holland or the Netherlands during the holidays. 960 1280

Dima P/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Kimchi (South Korea)

Kimchi (South Korea)

Don’t stay in … take your significant other out for a romantic dinner at a restaurant if you’re in South Korea. It’s normal for families to go out for Christmas dinner and attend holiday-themed events at local venues and theme parks. Kimchi is a year-round staple for families dining in for the holiday. After all, it is Korea’s national dish. 960 1280

Jukree/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Egg Nog (US)

Egg Nog (US)

Turkey, apple cider, candy canes, Christmas cookies, gingerbread, fruitcake are typical traditional foods served during the holidays in the US. But eggnog – made with milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs – is a popular holiday treat, too. Add brandy, rum or bourbon to warm cold spirits and garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg for a decorative touch. 960 1280

Lauri Patterson/ E+/ Getty Images  

Hawaii

Hawaii

Christmas Day in Hawaii usually means a large meal and a trip to the beach, where entertainers including ukulele players and hula dancers perform for holiday crowds. Of course, Santa himself, prefers Hawaiian garb, as well. 960 1280

JEWEL SAMAD  

Australia

Australia

Forget mittens and sleds. Australia’s Father Christmas is most likely to bring towels, boogie boards and flipflops. After the traditional Christmas lunch, Aussies head to the beach, like Sydney’s Bondi Beach shown here, to kick off summer holidays. 960 1280

PETER PARKS  

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

Between December 25 and January 1, Bahamians celebrate Junkanoo, a carnival-like festival in which masked and costumed dancers parade through the streets. 960 1280

Richard Ellis  

Brazil

Brazil

Brazil’s warm weather may seem at odds with the traditional snowflake and Christmas tree decor that’s popular in the area. Here a reveler paddle boards past the world’s largest floating Christmas tree in Rio de Janeiro’s Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.  960 1280

YASUYOSHI CHIBA  

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Christmas morning in Ethiopia begins with celebrants attending church dressed in white. There, priests perform Christmas rituals that include playing drums. 960 1280

Anadolu Agency  

Colombia

Colombia

The Day of the Candles, celebrated on the night of December 7, marks the evening of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Colombia, as well as the beginning of the country’s Christmas holidays.  960 1280

AFP  

New Zealand

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the Pohutukawa stands in for the Christmas tree.  960 1280

ullstein bild  

The Phillipines

The Phillipines

Filipinos celebrate the holidays with paper lanterns which are displayed on houses, office buildings and on streets. Tradition has it that the lanterns represent the victory of light over darkness.  960 1280

NOEL CELIS  

El Salvador

El Salvador

Many Latin American countries, including El Salvador, celebrate Christmas with pastorelas, plays that are similar to Christmas pageants, in which performers, often children, act out of biblical passages.  960 1280

AFP  

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Thousands of people attend San Jose’s annual Festival of Light parade in the Costa Rican capital. The parade features elaborate floats as well as costumed musicians and dancers.  960 1280

YURI CORTEZ  

Miami

Miami

Christmas in Miami includes the occasional Christmas Palm. 960 1280

Joe Raedle  

This small town near Valencia hosts the "World's Biggest Food Fight" every year when thousands of visitors and locals descend upon the city to throw tomatoes at each other. 960 1280

Getty Images   

In 2015, it was estimated that nearly 160 tons of tomatoes were used in the "fight." 960 1280

Getty Images   

The event became so successful and popular that in 2013, the city introduced an entrance fee and limited the number of participants to 20,000, due to safety concerns. 960 1280

Getty Images   

The weeklong festival kicks off on the last Wednesday in August, and includes music, parades, dancing, fireworks and food (other than tomatoes). 960 1280

Getty Images   

No one knows why Tomatina started, but one popular theory dates its origins back to a parade in 1944 or 1945 in which young men started a brawl and armed themselves with tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stand. 960 1280

Denis Doyle  

Banned by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco for lacking religious significance, the festival returned in the 1970s, and is held in honor of the town's patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary. 960 1280

flydime, wikimedia commons  

Around 11 a.m., the first event begins in the center of town, Plaza del Pueblo, where trucks have hauled in over 100,000 tomatoes. 960 1280

flydime, wikimedia commons  

Officially, the fight begins after a climber knocks off a ham from the top of a two-story high greased wooden pole. Although, the festivities will start whether or not the climber reaches the prized ham. 960 1280

flydime, wikimedia commons  

Shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in hopes of protecting them from the festival’s tomato-splashed aftermath. 960 1280

flydime, wikimedia commons  

Tomatina lasts for exactly one hour, signaled by the firing of water cannons. Fire trucks then spray down the streets to flush away the tomato residue. 960 1280

Getty Images   

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