Christmas is a holiday that’s celebrated by a lot of people around the world, and holds a different meaning for different countries. And with that various unusual traditions have been developed, some of which you may want to adopt in years to come!
If you’re placing your odds on White Christmas this year then we’re sure you’re getting into the festive spirit. So why not take a look at some of the unusual traditions that take place in alternative corners of the world!
Continue reading to see our picks for Christmas traditions that are both unusual and wonderful.
Austrian folklore surrounding Father Christmas is slightly different to what we’re used to. Here, a ghoulish creature called “Krampus” appears on the scene, acting as the evil accomplice of Saint Nick. The legend states that he wanders the streets in search of badly-behaved people. During the month of December, the festive holiday is celebrated with people wearing terrifying masks and costumes, a little bit like Halloween!
Every year on Christmas morning, the masses living in Caracas take to the streets with their skating equipment. As is the tradition, most of the main roads are closed, mainly for safety, as tens of thousands of people join in with the festivities. Roller skates, skateboards and various different skates are all brought to this skating congregation, to join in with the age-old tradition!
Arguably one of the strangest traditional Christmas tales we’ve ever heard of comes from the Nordic region, in Iceland. The legend dictates that there is a giant cat that roams the snowy countryside, during the Christmas period. Years ago, farmers used the “Yule Cat” as a motivation for their workers. Hardworking employees that kept the farm safe from the big cat would receive a new set of clothes, and those that didn’t work hard would, allegedly, end up being devoured by the massive beast. So, you better pull up your socks and get to it, otherwise you could win up being one hungry feline’s breakfast!
The eastern region of Catalonia is home to some undeniably strange Christmas traditions. Caga tió or “defecating log” is a tradition in which families draw a face on a home-mad paper log and spend the next two weeks ‘feeding’ it fruit. On Christmas eve, the entire family beats the log with sticks to reveal sweet and gifts and sing traditional songs that have been passed down the generations. Think of it like a Christmas piñata!
Traditionally, on Christmas eve, unmarried Czech women will take one of their shoes and stand with their back against a door, throwing the shoe over their shoulder and waiting for it to land. If it lands with the toe facing the door, they’ll be married within the year. If it lands with the heel going in the direction of the door then, according to the tradition, they’ll have to wait another year and try again.
In Norway, they believe that Christmas eve coincides with evil spirits and witches roaming the streets. As tradition recommends, to stay safe, families hide their brooms in the closet the night before Christmas Day, so that the joy-riding witches can’t find them and ruin the festivities with their broom-related hijinks. They even put signs up, forbidding witches from flying, so the people can celebrate this holiday in peace!