The Weirdest Christmas Traditions From Around The World
Christmas is a holiday celebrated by millions of people across the world. Whether it’s under a different name or celebrated on a different continent, there are traditional celebrations that citizens and tourists alike participate in. There are a couple of traditions that the rest of the world might find a little odd:
We know that Santa Claus brings presents and spreads holiday cheer with his magic fairy dust. But what happens to the kids on the big guy’s naughty list?
Well, in Austria children are taught that misbehaving and not being cheerful may win them a visit from none other than the demon known as Krampus. This horned creature takes naughty boys and girls and throws them in his sack to be taken away and eaten.
The messed up part isn’t even the story, but the fact that young men take it upon themselves to don the Krampus mantle and run around scaring naught children.
2. Roller Skate Mass
If you’re thinking this has to do with the church, you are completely correct. In Caracas, Venezuela, the citizens don roller blades and skate down to their local church on Christmas morning like clockwork.
The tradition has gone on for so long that, starting at 8 am on Christmas Day, many city streets are shut down.
Children will often sleep with the lace of a skate tied around a toe, with another lace hanging out the window. This allows passing friends to gently wake them up for some fun on roller blades.
3. Arachnid Inspired
In the country of Ukraine, the Christmas holiday is celebrated in a way that other countries likely don’t.
There is a folktale of a woman who did not have the money to decorate a tree she had gotten for her children. The spiders that lived in her house felt pity for the woman and her family and during the night decorated the tree with their webbing.
Considering that Ukrainian culture sees spiders as lucky, it’s no surprise that their Christmas decorations imitate that of the eight-legged creature’s home.
4. A KFC Christmas
KFC is a pretty popular fast food place that has many locations across the world. The last thing that the joint makes anyone think about would be Christmas. But when there’s a market to tap, why not?
In 1974, KFC released a campaign in the country of Japan that could be described as ‘festive.’ The campaign also carried the slogan “Kurisumasu ni was kentakkii!” Surprisingly, this tradition is still alive and well.
Many families go to their local KFC for a Kentucky Christmas, despite it not being a national holiday.
5. Flying Witches
The first thing I think about when it comes to Christmas in Santa Claus and cookies. For anyone who celebrates Christmas or something similar, the last thought the holiday would invoke is witches.
In Norwegian folklore, Christmas Eve is when witches fly around on broomsticks causing mischief. Because of their usual transportation, this Christmas tradition consists of hiding any cleaning supplies attached to sticks. It is essential to find a good hiding spot so the witches can’t find a new ride.
6. The Poop Log
Yeah, you read that right. In Catalonia, Spain, there is a tradition of getting and building Tio de Nadal, the Christmas log for children. He is made using a hollow log, sticks for feet, a smile, and a red hat.
The children must feed the log every night between December 8th and Christmas with small treats and water. It’s also important they give him a blanket to keep him warm.
Christmas Eve is when the real event begins. On this day, children are to beat the log while singing traditional songs. The lyrics for one of those songs is quite interesting: “Poop log, Poop nougats, Hazelnuts, and mato cheese, If you don’t poop well, I’ll hit you with a stick, Poop log!” After a proper beating, the log is supposed to magically excrete candy and presents.
After Tio’s job is done, though, he is tossed into the fire to keep the family warm.
7. The Christmas Pickle
This particular tradition comes out of Germany. It is not as weird as the rest, but still a bit odd.
In good old German tradition, families will hide a shiny pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree. The first boy or girl to find the pickle is given a small gift.