For many, traveling is an opportunity to explore new cultures, with 60% of global travelers noting that they want to enjoy new experiences and visit new places on their next trip. There’s no better time to embrace something new than the holiday season.
Enjoy tasty foods, celebrate cultural traditions or swap the cold weather for warmer skies. As over three quarters (76%) of global travelers* say that immersing themselves in a new culture helps them to disconnect from daily life, we share a list of some memorable festive traditions across the globe to help inspire travelers seeking to celebrate a different holiday tradition as it becomes safe to travel again.
Philadelphia, US – Thanksgiving
Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month in November (25 November in 2021), Thanksgiving is a national holiday across America, dedicated to giving thanks and celebrating with loved ones. Truly immerse yourself in the culture and festivities by attending the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade on the day itself, America’s oldest parade having run for over 100 years. The parade features an array of lively floats, marching bands and plenty of music to kick start the holiday season.
Tel Aviv, Israel – Hanukkah
This year Hanukkah, the festival of light, begins on the 28th November and lasts until sundown on 6th December. The celebrations consist of lighting the menorah on each day and eating traditional foods such as potato latke. Explore the city and experience live music in celebration of the festival at Tel Aviv Independence Park. Head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to see what special events are on for the celebrations, or attend one of the city’s special Hannukah events complete with colorful and artistic installations, arts and crafts for kids and more.
Where to stay: Situated in the Old City of Jaffa, Casa Nova – Luxury Suites & Boutique Apart-Hotel offers breath-taking views over the Mediterranean, and features modern rooms with traditional touches throughout. Explore what this historical city has to offer by visiting nearby sites including the Old Jaffa Antiquities Museum and Jaffa Flea Market. Or venture further out on a guided walking tour through Tel Aviv to explore the city’s first skyscraper and hear intriguing tales of the city’s history and culture.
Munich, Germany – Saint Nicholas Day
In Germany, St. Nicholas Day on the 6th December marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The tradition which originates from St Nicholas’ role as the patron of children and magical gift bringer is popular amongst children. Children put their freshly polished boots by the front door or fireplace hoping to find them filled with small gifts and candy in the morning. While in town why not also visit another festivity ubiquitous with Germany? Stroll around the Munich Christkindlmarkt and sample local delicacies and purchase traditional crafts.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Munich, BEYOND by Geisel is the perfect option for those wanting to get into the Christmas spirit. Guests can enjoy the views of Munich town hall from the relaxing wine bar or venture out to explore what the city has to offer during the festive season with easy access to the metro, or discover the city on bike with a guided bike tour which includes landmarks such as Bavarian National Museum and Odeonsplatz.
Stockholm, Sweden – St Lucia’s Day
St. Lucia’s Day, held annually on the 13th December is one of Sweden’s biggest celebrations, marking the beginning of the holidays and honoring the memory of St. Lucia. Candle-lit processions are held in schools and by local choirs to celebrate the day, with groups traditionally choosing an individual to be Lucia to lead the procession. Traditional foods such as saffron buns ‘Lussekatter’ and ginger snap biscuits ‘Pepparkakor’, are also served for the occasion.