Celebrate Holiday Traditions Around the World With Adventures By Disney
Though most Adventures by Disney getaways are on hiatus at the moment, we here at MickeyBlog wanted to take a minute to remind you of all of the special getaways available for Disney fans in the years to come. Let’s celebrate the season by checking out some treasured holiday traditions at our favorite Adventures by Disney destinations!
Christmas trolls!? In Iceland, locals tell tales of mischievous but benevolent creatures known as the Yule Lads. As legend has it, 13 Yule Lads travel into town, one visiting each of the thirteen nights leading up to Christmas Even. Each night, local children leave their shoes out the window. The Lads place treats and small gifts in the shoes if the kids are good. Naughty children however get rotten potatoes!
Each of the 13 Christmas trolls have their own distinct personality reflected in their names. Are you ready for this: Þvörusleikir (“Spoon-Licker”), Hurðaskellir (“Door-Slammer”) and Skyrgámur (“Skyr-Gobbler”). (The latter loves to gobble up skyr, an Icelandic dairy product similar to yogurt.) Oh, and don’t forget about Grýla, the mother of the thirteen Lads who keeps an eye out for naughty children.
Even though Adventures By Disney offers a trip to Iceland over the Summer, one of the stops on your Icelandic tour includes Dimmuborgir Lava Labyrinth, the home of these mischievous trolls. The locals may even have a few stories to share about these holiday creatures!
The Chinese New Year is a Spring festival celebrated in January and February depending on the phase of the moon (that’s why its called a Lunar New Year.) The holidays origins are rooted in folkore. As legend has it, thousands of years ago, a terrifying beast Nian terrorized villagers at the beginning of each new year. Loud noises and the color red can scare it away. That’s why red has now become a color of prosperity and happiness in the county.
Each year, the New Year celebrations are filled with fireworks, colorful red displays, decor and apparel.
Lunar New Years is also a time for coming together and feasting with your family. Elders typically give younger family members hongbao (red envelopes filled with money that is thought to be lucky.) Another highlight is the Lantern Festival where illuminated lanterns are displayed in temples and carried in evening processions.
You can find out so much more about China’s incredible traditions during a Summer/Fall getaway with Adventures by Disney!
In New Zealand, you’ll hear about Pohutukawa trees which are beautiful trees that blossom around the holiday season (which actually falls during summertime in New Zealand.) It features beautiful crimson flowers that look just like Christmas decorations. This “Kiwi Christmas Tree” is a very important symbol for New Zealanders. You’ll find references in poetry, art and song. The tree also holds and important place among the Māori people, who consider the Pohutukawa a “taonga” (treasure).
Adventures by Disney is offering a brand-new getaway to New Zealand with trips across this incredible island country including departures in November and December when you’ll have a chance to see these beautiful Pohutukawa trees are in full bloom.
Peruvians celebrate a holiday tradition called, “La Noche Buena,” which literally translates to The Good Night. This celebration is held on Christmas Eve and is just as important as Christmas Day itself. During this evening, families will gather at home to enjoy a feast and exchange gifts. During the holiday season, this evening meal in Peru includes items like turkey, tamales, salad and apple sauce. A popular holiday treat is all a sweet cake bread known as “panetón” (panettone).
When it comes to decorating, across Peru, Holiday decor typically includes the Nativity Manger which is known as “pesebre.” You’ll even see llamas and alpacas replacing the traditional donkeys and camels in the Peruvian versions.
In the Andean region, you’ll also find another popular Latin American holiday tradition known as “El Día de los Reyes Magos” or “La Bajada de los Reyes,” and in Ollantaytambo, locals host an elaborate Three Kings Day celebration featuring parades, traditional costumes and folkloric dance.
Adventures by Disney offers private or guided group tours to Peru. During your trip, you’ll have an opportunity to visit during the holiday season. If you’re there on Christmas Even be sure to try the panetón with a big glass of hot cocoa!
If you’ve been to EPCOT before during Festival of the Holidays then you may have heard the story of La Befana in Italy. Legends say she appears every Epiphany Eve and leaves gifts for good children and coal for bad ones. She is described as a kindhearted old witch. But instead of leaving milking cookies she prefers broccoli, sausage and a glass of wine.
During an Adventures by Disney guided group vacation or private adventure to Italy you may spot La Befana flying around on her broomstick or hear more about her story. You can also indulge in some of her favorite Italian eats and treats.
We hope you enjoyed this look at just some of the incredible Adventures By Disney destinations that are there waiting for you whenever you are ready to travel again!
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