A Guide to Festive TV Traditions Around the World

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The festive period is full of traditions. It’s a chance to spend time with loved ones, consume your body weight in food and drink, and show your appreciation with gifts. It’s an opportunity to unwind from the stress of everyday life. And for some, that means putting your feet up in front of the television.

There’s no end of festive films to choose from: Home Alone, Love Actually, and The Grinch are all Christmas classics available on various platforms. Streaming can be slow at such a busy time, but a VPN for streaming can help solve this problem.

And once Christmas is over, there’s the New Year period to think about. There’s so much choice that deciding what to watch can prove tricky. So, why not expand your horizons and embrace some TV traditions from other countries?

Dinner for One – Germany

A little-known comedy sketch originating in the UK, Dinner for One has become an unlikely tradition in Germany. It aired in 1963 and was used as filler on New Year’s Eve in 1972. It’s still rolled out on December 31st and has become a staple of Germany’s celebrations. And in 2022, German production company UFA announced plans to film a six-part prequel.

Three Wishes for Cinderella – Czech Republic, Norway And Germany

Like Dinner for One, this fairytale film is over 50 years old. And like Dinner for One, it’s a firm family favourite in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Norway. Featuring castles set among snowy countryside, it captures the magic of the season. And who doesn’t enjoy a good love story?

The Irony of Fate – Russia

At more than three hours long, this film is the perfect choice if you’ve got plenty of time to kill over the festive period. A tale of too much vodka leading to mass confusion, it’s become an essential part of New Year’s Eve in Russia. It was first released across the Soviet Union on January 1st, 1976, and centres on an unlikely love story to warm the heart.

Kohaku – Japan

You could check out Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Singing Contest) for something slightly different. The show has been airing on television and radio in Japan since the 1950s. It pits two groups of the biggest music acts against each other. The red team comprises all female artists, and the white team is all male. The artists are chosen by invitation only, and it’s treated as a major highlight in a singer’s career. It goes out on New Year’s Eve and typically finishes before midnight.

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

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