Christmas Traditions Around the World Put to the Keyword Test

Christmas Traditions Around the World Put to the Keyword Test

During Christmas season each country has its own special way of celebrating. Americans are crazy about parades, Germans flood town squares to visit Christmas markets and the Japanese get a strange flair for fried chicken. But, when do stereotypes stop reflecting actual reality?

We decided to put Christmas traditions from around the world to the test. A keywords trends test, that is. By targeting five different markets: Dubai, Germany, Japan, Poland and USA, we chose one Christmas tradition from each country and researched how its popularity corresponds to online search query trends by using Google Trends. results.

Kentucky Japanese Fried Chicken

Did you know KFC’s fried chicken has become a traditional Japanese Christmas dish? It all started in 1974 with their epic marketing campaign “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!). Japanese are known to quickly adapt Western trends and traditions. Back then KFC took the opportunity to fill the existant Christmas void with a nice looking bucket of chicken. In December alone some KFC restaurants get ten times more orders than usual.


Checking up on Google Trends, it’s clear the Japanese are still crazy for “Christmas chicken” – クリスマスチキン. Gradually the trend became a national symbol, and thus detaching itself from KFC Christmas chicken, to simply Christmas chicken. Evidence that the chicken has indeed spread its wings, is the fact that a rising related query is “famima christmas chicken” – ファミマ クリスマス チキン. Family Mart, a successful Japanese grocery chain, sells its own fried chicken so people can prepare the dish quickly at home.

It’s X-mas! Wanna Go to the Movies?

Please, look closely at the following chart.


It might not be your thing, but for millions of Americans in the USA going to the movies or organizing a movie night with the sole intention of watching a Christmas feature film, is a tradition. Just think about it: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Home Alone (1990), Love Actually (2003), Bad Santa (2003) and the list goes on and on. We know you’d rather not admit it, but you’ve probably seen at least one of these films.

The weeks before Christmas are an important box office period for film studios. Christmas movies can prove to be a major blockbuster. Based on the above chart, the keyword trends grow higher during weekends as people have more leisure time. Since on-demand television is taking away box office numbers, related queries are also: “ion tv christmas movies 2017”, “best christmas movies on netflix” and “youtube hallmark christmas movies 2017”.

Santa Who? Meet the Polish Gift Giving Trio

As borders and political regimes have been changing much throughout Polish history, the Poles have three different gift bringers.

Święty MikołajSaint Nicholas, the traditional gift bringer based on the story of the Catholic saint. St. Nicolas Day (Mikołajki) is widely celebrated not only in Poland on December 6th. Through Western influences the Poles are adopting the image of Święty Mikołaj as Santa Claus, thus he also visits children on December 24th.

Gwiazdor – the Starman, is a character from local Polish folklore of pre-Christian Slavic celebrations of the winter solstice. Together with other folk characters, he carries a symbol of the star representing the newborn sun that comes after winter. Even today he brings Polish children gifts on December 24th.

Dziadek Mróz – Ded Moroz or Grandfather Frost. Though arriving from Slavic pagan tradition, Ded Moroz was heavily promoted during the Soviet era to eliminate the influence of the Catholic Saint Nicholas. He’d come around on New Year’s Eve.

Who’s Covering Which Corner?

While planning your Christmas gift strategy in Poland, be careful which present-giver to choose as your mascot. We compared all the three names and ended up with some very interesting resultsŚwięty Mikołaj is the most popular among all the gift bringers, no matter the region. Search queries already reached their first peak on December 6th.


In some regions or voivodeships in Poland like Lublin people hardly search for Gwiazdor. Yet in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, this search query has an even stronger presence than Święty Mikołaj.


If you are thinking about planning your Christmas campaign around the figure of Dziadek Mróz, we’d advise it only for specific regions. In most Polish voivodeships people hardly search for Grandfather Frost with some obvious exceptions, especially the Podkarpackie Voivodeship and Pomeranian Voivodeship.


We Wish You a Sandy Christmas

For several years now, many people from the USA and wealthier European countries decide to spend their Christmas holidays in Dubai. The country has developed into a tourism mecca adapting to the needs of Western travelers and creating ski resorts inside shopping malls. Not only relying on the warmer climate during Western winters, Dubai has become a synonym for good shopping and five-star cuisine.


Being famous for top-rated restaurants, it comes as no surprise that during Christmas holidays many of them offer special brunches, lunches and dinners. That English speaking people search for Christmas meals in Dubai is evident from the above graph. We compared the words: “christmas dinner”, “christmas brunch” and “christmas lunch”. The search popularity of each query starts rising already in the second half of November. Early birds search for dinner and brunch, while “christmas lunch” starts gaining higher popularity in the middle of December.

The Cradle of the Christmas Market

When one thinks of Christmas in Germany, there is no escaping the local Christmas markets. The tradition of Weihnachtsmärkte as it is called in the local language, originates straight from the German-speaking parts of Europe. The first records of such markets go back to the middle ages: Munich in 1310, Frankfurt in 1393 and of course the famous market in Vienna, Austria which dates back to 1298.

Their initial purpose was to provide locals with food and other supplies for winter. Today, German Christmas markets attract both local and foreign visitors. The popularity of the query “weihnachtsmärkte starts rapidly rising at the beginning of December. German speakers in the country especially like to search for queries related to the best or nicest Christmas market (“schönste weihnachtsmärkte”, “die schönsten weihnachtsmärkte”) and markets in specific cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

Reading through, you’ve realized that planning your Christmas campaign around a seasonal tradition doesn’t guarantee 100% online success. Make sure you’ve researched relevant keywords based on time and specific regions. Through this, you will avoid losing time on inappropriate content and geo-targeting website optimization.

Wish to get more SEO Christmas tips? Have you started your Valentine’s Day campaign yet? We’re prepared for every occasion. Get in touch with us to get an early start on your competition.  

Featured image source: Pixabay.com

  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  

Thinking of taking your brand global?

We are international SEO experts. Check our services to see what being global really means.

Polona Golob

Polona Golob

Enjoys a good crossword puzzle and matching keywords is her favorite.

Entries by Polona Golob