Investigating Different Holiday Traditions by U.S. Region

by Alex ThatcherNovember 28, 2016

How Do You Celebrate in Your Neck of the Woods?

The United States of America is a nation of diversity. We are made up of many peoples from all over the world, many peoples that have settled with other diverse peoples into unique regions of the U.S. These regions, each with their own unique little melting pots of culture, have developed unique holiday traditions over time. Here are some of our most interesting holiday customs, broken down by region.
regional holiday traditions

The Desert Southwest

Whether you find yourself in Phoenix, Albuquerque, or San Antonio, one thing remains constant from Thanksgiving through the New Year: the presence of luminarias. Luminarias are paper lanterns, weighted down with sand, and illuminated by either candle or electric light.

In San Antonio, they line the famous River Walk through downtown with thousands of them. In Albuquerque, Phoenix, and many of the other cities and towns of the region, they highlight streets, buildings, public spaces, shopping areas, and town squares for the holidays.
regional holiday traditions

The Pacific Northwest

The region that arguably brought the world the concept of SantaCon may be permanently on the “naughty” list, but SantaCon seems to be enough fun to be worth it. SantaCon is an annual gathering of Santas: in some cities in the Northwest, thousands of them show up and go on a jolly jaunt through town en masse.

Imagine, a street literally full of men and women all dressed as Santa, and all looking to have a great time. Many SantaCon events have either a fun-run, or a charity toy drive attached to all the debauchery, to add an air of tradition and class that might otherwise be missing.
regional holiday traditions

The Northeast

According to New England magazine, the citizens of our nation’s Northeastern states prefer to spend the holidays dressing up in fancy clothes and traveling to artistic performances of The Nutcracker or the local symphony. No doubt New England magazine hasn’t heard of numerous Polar Bear Clubs inhabiting the Eastern seaboard, waiting for the New Year to wash away their pasts in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.
regional holiday traditions

So Many Traditions

The Midwest is known for outdoor craft fairs and food festivals in the months between Octoberfest and the New Year, and the South is known for its food-focused and religiously observant take on the holidays. Each region of this great nation has its own reverent and irreverent holiday traditions that honor the passing of the seasons with time well-spent among friends, family, and in commune with our fellow humans.

Get out and see what regional fun you can find these coming holidays. You might be surprised to learn what has become a tradition in your neck of the woods without you even noticing.
regional holiday traditions


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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging expert by day and a writer by night. She loves working in the home and interior design sphere, and is fascinated by what makes people light up when they walk into a room. When she isn't arranging flowers and making sure furniture looks appealing and cozy for prospective buyers, she loves to write about any and all things home and design related, from DIY to organization tips.

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