What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a series of illustrations that are both whimsical and culturally enlightening? In collaboration with illustrator Marie Muravski, jewelry designer Vashi once again commissioned drawings of a romantic nature, except this time they asked for 20 drawings depicting the most unusual and romantic holiday traditions from around the world. Aside from being an eye-opening look at cultural customs, these illustrations give off a universal feeling of warmth and coziness.
Accompanied by Muravski’s delightful illustrations, we’re all treated to the oddly festive practices of love and celebration from across the globe. In the Ukraine, many symbolically hide a spider in their Christmas tree for good luck–it’s believed that spiders once used their webs to kindly decorate a poor widow’s tree when she couldn’t afford decorations. In Haiti, children place straw-filled shoes beneath their Christmas tree in the hope that Santa will soon replace them with presents. Arguably one of the most interesting and certainly communal traditions takes place in the Mexican city of Oaxaca–families come together on December 23rd to carve radishes into nativity figures and the best carvings are displayed in the town square for all to admire.
Despite our cultural differences, countless traditions have managed to cross geographic boundaries. Specifically, many cultures like to celebrate the New Year with a kiss at midnight. There are also the customs that get passed down through generations as they continue to delight communities during the magical holiday season. Scroll down to see some of the most unique rituals performed by different cultures.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Vashi’s creative team.