Krannich Christmas traditions around the world - part 1
Today we would like to take you on a little trip around the world to our international branches and show you how they spend the Christmas season and celebrate Christmas. You can look forward to some interesting, funny and exciting Christmas insights from our colleagues!
In part 1 we start with our subsidiaries in Sweden, Japan, Spain and South Africa. Enjoy reading!
The team in Sweden can look forward to a “White Christmas” with lots of snow on Christmas Day, December 24th. Even in the days leading up to Christmas, the team is already making themselves comfortable in the office, hanging Christmas decorations and lighting candles every day. Michael, the branch manager, makes sure that the entire team is supplied with lots of treats and sweets. What can't be missing is a gingerbread house he built himself - with a photovoltaic system, of course!
On December 24th, Swedish families gather to watch the annual rerun of an old Donald Duck show. The cartoon character has held a firm place in the hearts of viewers of all ages for generations. Since 1959, Kalle Anka and his friends have been sending Christmas greetings over the TV. Evaluations show that about 40% of all Swedes’ watch the show.
Another Swedish "tradition" regularly makes it into the media and television reports. Every year, a giant goat made of straw (Gävlebock) is put up in the city of Gävle at the beginning of December. The installation is so famous because almost every year it is torched again in the most creative way. Every year, the Swedes fear for their beloved Christmas symbol - because even if it seems so, the destruction of the Gävlebock is actually not part of the tradition at all and is even prosecuted.
On the evening of December 24th, the festive Christmas dinner takes place. On the lavishly laid festive table are numerous Swedish specialties. Different variations of fish such as herring or salmon of all kinds, Swedish meatballs, Christmas ham and Janssons frestelse, which means Jansson's temptation, a potato casserole, are served. This is accompanied by julmust, glögg and snaps. Julmust is a Swedish lemonade, glögg is like mulled wine and snaps is pure alcohol that all the adults at the table drink together while singing a drinking song called snapsvisor.
What the team in Sweden particularly likes about Christmas can you read here:
- Julia: "I love that it’s so cozy and spending time with loved ones."
- Thomas: "The glögg! Just kidding. Same as Julia."
- Sören: "Days off with the family and all the nice food (…and the glögg ;-) )
- Carl: "For me it’s definitely the peacefulness after we have finished eating, people have received their Christmas presents and we can all just sit down and do absolutely nothing without that being strange."
- Michael: "Watch Kalle Anka while eating nice “fika” (coffee and cinnamon bun). The big Christmas smorgasbord. The Christmas presents. The peacefulness. Crack some nuts while watching a Christmas movie."
- Katharina: "I agree with Michael…But don’t forget the glögg!"
Our colleagues in Japan celebrate Christmas on December 24th. Unlike in Germany, however, Christmas in Japan is not a traditional family celebration, but more of a romantic day and a celebration for couples. Nagisa, Marketing & Sales Support at Krannich's Japan branch, explains why: "That's because we celebrate New Year's together with the family, so the meaning of Christmas is different for us. But we also decorate our houses, put up a tree and eat a Christmas dinner. There are even Christmas markets. Here we get inspired by Germany. You can buy Christmas decorations, drink mulled wine or eat sausages. In the cities, there are also numerous light shows."
If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, you go out on Christmas. Most Japanese couples start the evening with a romantic walk in the glow of the cities' Christmas lights, exchanging gifts and eating Christmas dinner outdoors.
Fried chicken is a popular food at Christmas. It is sold everywhere during Christmas week. After Christmas dinner, a Christmas cake is traditionally eaten with whipped cream, strawberries or other fruits and Christmas candy as decoration. Recently, the Stollen at Christmas is also becoming more and more popular.
Couples with children prepare the gifts next to the children's beds on December 24th. The children are allowed to open the gifts the next morning! However, the gifts were not wrapped by the parents themselves! "Japanese don't wrap gifts because there is a free wrapping service in all stores. We get to choose the paper design, the color of the ribbons, and everything else!" explains Nagisa.
By the morning of December 26th, all the Christmas magic is gone, and the decorations on the streets and in the malls have disappeared. Nagisa tells us: "Now we're getting ready for New Year's! That's also the day we celebrate with our colleagues. Instead of a Christmas get-together, we have a celebration at work on the last day of the year. We all get together and socialize over sushi, pizza and drinks."
Our colleagues in Spain can usually enjoy sunshine at Christmas. December 24th is Christmas Eve, when the family gets together to eat dinner and celebrate. Pau, Marketing Manager of the Spanish branch, takes us along: "The Spanish people are cheerful and sociable and love to celebrate especially during Christmas when the cities are full. Further celebrations then follow on New Year's Eve and Epiphany. Krannich Spain also holds a small Christmas party every year. All colleagues from Spain and Portugal usually meet in Valencia, where Krannich Spain has its headquarters. There we spend hours together eating and have a team-building event. For example, we've already been bowling and have learned how to prepare a delicious paella."
Pau gives us further insight into the culinary delights of Spain: “We have fantastic meat in the north, excellent wines in the center of the country, the world-famous paella on the east coast, and exquisite fish in the south. So, the traditional Christmas dinner can be very different from one part of the country to the others. But, what is common throughout the country is a New Year’s Eve tradition: We eat 12 grapes on the 12 bells to celebrate the New Year and toast with cava or champagne - and a gold ring in the cup - to celebrate the beginning of the year. In addition, in most parts we usually eat the Roscón de Reyes (Three Kings cake) on January 6th. In the cake a bean and a small gift are hidden. The one who finds the gift is named king, and the one who finds the bean must pay for the cake next year."
What Pau likes best about Christmas you can read here: "The best part is enjoying these days with my family and friends. Everyone seems friendlier, happier and nicer than the rest of the year, and at least for a week we forget our everyday problems and focus on the really important things in life."
When thinking of Christmas, we usually think of cold weather and snow. But not so in South Africa. Here, Christmas is in the South African summer season. "We usually expect nice and hot days and lots of sunshine hours. But in some parts it can also rain sometimes.” reports Wadood, branch manager in South Africa.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. Wadood tells us: "Usually we stay up until 12:00 a.m. on Christmas morning to open a first gift. In South Africa th Christmas feast is often prepared the day before. Appetizers of various seafood or traditional dishes are served. The main course is smoked ham, various roasts of turkey or lamb, and side salads and vegetables. For dessert, there is usually trifle. This is a typical South African dessert at Christmas time made of sponge cake, alcohol, jam and cream."
What the South African Krannich team enjoys most about Christmas is the food, the good weather, the festive music and, above all, spending time with family.
In part 2 we continue our Christmas journey to our subsidiaries in Mexico, India, France, USA and Portugal. Stay curious!