Residents of the UK’s most remote island celebrate Christmas nearly two weeks after the rest of the UK and unlike many others around the world.
This is because they adhere to a centuries-old tradition. Only 30 people live on the island of Foula in Shetland, their winter festivals, they celebrate according to the Julian calendar, which Britain last observed in 1752, since then, the country embraced the new Gregorian calendar and was no longer divided.
But after a fragile year in the 1900s, Foula residents have regularly celebrated Christmas and the New Year late, respectively on January 6 and January 13.
For them, it is already the custom that on Christmas Day everyone gets together in a house where they exchange gifts and sing songs. Locals in Foula, located 200 miles north of John O’Groats in Scotland, maintain a strong Norwegian cultural tradition regarding music, festive foods and folk tales.
‘Families celebrate in their homes, then at dinner we all gather in one apartment, that’s always been the case’, said a local.
There are 10 children on the island awaiting New Year’s Eve with patience, though it arrives later than the other toddlers.