Program 427b: Even More European Christmas Traditions

Release Date: 12-25-2021


Learn about holiday traditions observed in France, Norway, Greece, London, the Spanish Basque Country, and small-town Italy. From festively decorated Greek boats to dishes of fresh oysters and fermented trout, and Santas who live not on the North Pole but on a farm or in the woods, Christmas is a little different across the pond.


  • Tom Hooper, tour guide from London
  • Gillian Chadwick, tour guide from London
  • Cecilia Bottai, vintner and tour guide from Orvieto, Italy
  • Patrick Vidal, tour guide from Brittany, France
  • Virginie Moré, tour guide from Lyon, France 
  • Pål Bjarne Johansen, tour guide from Oslo, Norway
  • Anastasia Gaitanou, tour guide from Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Danae Kousouri, tour guide from Athens
  • Agustín Ciriza, tour guide from San Sebastian, Spain

Additional Info

  • You can watch the Rick Steves European Christmas TV special on demand. The website includes a number of Christmas recipes from Rick's European tour guide friends, plus extra features from Rome and Bavaria.
  • The history of displaying a nativity scene for Christmas is said have originated with St. Francis of Assisi.
  • A "Buche Noël" yule log is a traditional dessert served at Christmastime in France.
  • Saint Vasilios, also known as Basil the Great, was a contemporary of Saint Nicholas, and brings gifts to the children in Greece on January 1.
  • The Olentzero is a Christmastime character that brings toys to the children of the Basque Country in Spain.