Guess which country decorates their tree with spiders? Plus more traditional Christmas decorations from around the world

Will you be incorporating these into your home?

In the UK you might think that tinsel and baubles adorn everyone's Christmas tree. However traditional Christmas tree decorations from around the world are as varied as a box of Quality Street.

Related: The Nutcracker is shining star of this year's Primark Christmas collection

Modern Christmas trees are believed to have originated in 16th century Germany. originate in the They then catapulted into popularity in the UK during the 1800s.

Around eight million Christmas trees are grown in the UK for the festive season, and 30 million sold in the USA. That's not to mention the trees being sold and decorated in the rest of the world.

Each corner of the world that celebrates Christmas has its own way of decorating there Christmas tree. Traditional Christmas tree decorations from around the world include everything from seashells in Australia to spiders in Ukraine.

traditional christmas tree decorations from around the world

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

'Most countries have their own traditions which they follow when it comes to the festive tree,' says a spokesperson for 'From cobwebs to apples, to candles and cotton, there's a really interesting mix. Maybe try adopting a few this year – you'll certainly have a tree with a unique twist.'

Here is a guide to some of the traditional Christmas tree decorations from around the world:


The home of the Christmas tree that is gifted to London every year and stands in Trafalgar square. Norwegians typically decorate their trees on Christmas Eve.

The parents are usually the ones hanging the baubles, while the children wait patiently outside. When the tree is trimmed, they all join hands and sing carols as they walk around the tree.

christmas tree surrounded with gifts

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)


We've all seen the traditional Christmas films with families cheerily threading pieces of popcorn together. In the States, Christmas trees are regularly adorned with garlands of popcorn.

The tradition is believed to have originated in the 1950s when outdoor trees were decorated for birds and wildlife.


Instead of simply a star or angel atop the Christmas tree, in Italy, all the decorations are centred around the nativity scene.


Christmas dinner down under is famously spent on the beach in Summer. Instead of little snowmen and robins, seashell ornaments are a far more natural decoration for the tree.

christmas tree with fruit ornaments

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)


Across the channel, fruit sits pride of place on Christmas trees. In the past real fruit used to be used, but it is now more common for people to use fruit ornaments - particularly red apples.


Real candles typically adorn traditional Christmas trees in Germany. However, most households have opted for electric light decorations to avoid the potential fire risk.


The most bizarre Christmas tree decoration tradition we've come across is in Ukraine. Here spider and spider-webs, believed to bring good luck and fortune in the coming year adorn the tree.

room with single beds and red lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)


It might be hot and sunny in Brazil, but to get into the festive spirit pine trees are decorated with pieces of cotton to mimic falling snow.

Related: Sam Faiers leads the way for the latest Christmas decorating craze – but is it OTT or fabulous?

Will you be adopting any of these traditions into your Christmas tree decorations?=

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.