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8 Strange and interesting Christmas customs in many places around the world

Christmas is a global celebration, but the way it’s observed varies significantly from one country to another. While some traditions are familiar to most, there are unique and unusual customs that make Christmas in different parts of the world a truly fascinating and diverse experience. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the weirdest and most interesting Christmas customs from various corners of the globe.

1. Krampus in Austria

In Austria and other parts of the Alpine region, you won’t just find Santa Claus bringing gifts; you’ll also encounter Krampus, a demonic creature with horns, who punishes naughty children. On Krampusnacht (Krampus Night), people dress up as Krampus and roam the streets scaring children and adults alike.

2. Catalonia’s Caganer

Catalonia's Caganer

In Catalonia, Spain, nativity scenes often include a “caganer,” a figurine of a person defecating in a corner. It is believed to bring good luck, fertility, and a bountiful harvest. Each year, new caganer figurines are created, often featuring famous celebrities.

3. Roller Skating to Mass in Venezuela

Roller Skating to Mass in Venezuela

In the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, it’s a common Christmas tradition for the city’s residents to roller skate to the early morning Mass services. The streets are often closed to cars to ensure the safety of the skaters.

4. The Yule Cat in Iceland

The Yule Cat in Iceland

Iceland has its own version of Santa Claus, known as the Yule Lads, but they are accompanied by a giant, menacing Yule Cat. This cat is said to devour those who haven’t received new clothes before Christmas. This tradition encourages people to give and receive new clothing for the holiday.

5. A Rooster Gift in Italy

A Rooster Gift in Italy

In Italy, a popular custom is to give the gift of a live rooster or hen, known as a “capon,” as a symbol of good luck. The recipient keeps the bird as a pet or raises it for fresh eggs and meat in the coming year.

6. KFC Christmas in Japan

KFC Christmas in Japan

In Japan, Christmas is not a national holiday, but it is celebrated with enthusiasm, thanks to a clever marketing campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Many Japanese families celebrate by ordering KFC on Christmas Eve, making it a popular tradition.

7. The Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines

The Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines

In the city of San Fernando, the Philippines, the Giant Lantern Festival is a mesmerizing spectacle. Intricately designed lanterns, some measuring up to 20 feet in diameter, are paraded through the streets, creating a vibrant and colorful Christmas celebration.

8. Witchcraft in Norway

Witchcraft in Norway

In Norway, it is believed that on Christmas Eve, witches and evil spirits come out to play. To ward off these supernatural beings, households hide their broomsticks. This tradition dates back to ancient pagan times.

As we’ve seen, the customs and traditions associated with Christmas are as diverse as the cultures that celebrate it. From demonic figures to giant lanterns and bizarre gift-giving practices, these unique customs add a fascinating layer of depth to the holiday season. While we may not fully understand or even agree with all these traditions, they serve as a reminder of the richness and diversity of our world’s cultural tapestry. So, this Christmas, consider embracing the weird and wonderful customs from around the world to make your holiday season even more exciting and memorable.

We will reveal more interesting things about Christmas in the next articles, please follow and wait for us!