10 Odd Christmas Traditions from Around the World

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With the holiday season well underway it is fun to take time and look at what other countries from around the world do to celebrate this festive day. Here is a list of 10 odd Christmas traditions that can be found around the world.

1. Some residents in South Africa like to enjoy delicacies such as deep friend caterpillars from the Emperor moth. A delicious way to start the festive day.

2. In Austria, children believe in Krampus who is half-goat and half-demon and is complete with fangs and horns. It is said that on Christmas day Krampus beats children who have been naughty with branches.

3. Catalonians set out a log on the dining room table a fortnight before Christmas. This is no ordinary log though, it is called Tio de Nadal or, the “pooping log”. It is decorated with a face and hat and every day until Christmas it is fed fruit, nuts and sweets. On Christmas day it is placed halfway in the fire and then beaten with a stick until it excretes the treats it was fed.

4. In the capital city of Caraca in Venezuela, residents forget about their shoes and tie up their roller skating laces before heading out to early morning mass. The streets are closed to vehicles until 8 a.m. avoiding any potential accidents for skaters.

5. In Germany there is a tradition of hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The following day the first child to find it receives a small gift.

6. In the Ukraine you can forget about decorating the tree with tinsel and lights. It has become tradition to use spiders and webs instead. The folklore goes that there once was a poor woman who couldn’t afford to decorate her tree. When her children woke up the next morning they saw it covered in spider webs and when the sun touched the webs they turned into silver and gold.

7. In the 1970’s KFC had a strong campaign promoting KFC in Japan. Apparently it was very effective as now Christmas is when Japanese are obsessed with KFC eating over 240,000 barrels of chicken.

8. The small town Gavle in Sweden annually build a 40 ft straw goat and have done so since 1966. Every year locals find a way to destroy it as well whether that be by burning it down or trying to rob it with a helicopter.

9. In New York City, Santas and elves take over the streets in the city wide pub crawl that starts at 8 a.m. and becomes messy rather quickly.

10. Last but not least is a tradition that takes place in India. Rather than decorating a traditional evergreen tree, those that do celebrate Christmas tend to decorate banana or mango trees. Some even use the mango leave to decorate their homes.

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