7 Strange Christmas Traditions from Around the World
Holiday traditions are a big part of what makes the holidays so special. These traditions can reflect your culture, your family priorities and your heritage. Around the world, there are many unique Christmas traditions and some are quite interesting. Here’s a list of the weirdest and most interesting Christmas traditions from around the world.
A pickle- shaped ornament is hidden within the Christmas tree. The first person to locate the pickle among all the other ornaments receives an extra gift at Christmas. This tradition has stories from Spain to Germany and it looks like a lot of fun!
2) Skating to Mass:
From December 16th to December 24th, there’s a very weird but cool tradition that takes place in Caracas, Venezuela. The city streets of Caracas are shut down before 8 AM to any regular traffic. This allows the streets to be open to pedestrians on skates! It has been customary to Venezuela to attend Misa de Aguinaldo (Early Morning Mass) and by closing traffic off to bulky cars and busses, everyone can skate to mass on time.
3) Spider Webs:
Here’s a bit of an odd item you wouldn’t normally associate with Christmas. On a Ukrainian Christmas tree the sight of a spider or web is nothing new. The folk tale that goes with this tradition says a poor family woke up on Christmas morning to find their once bare tree decorated with spider webs that shined silver and gold in the morning sun rays. This tradition continues to this day.
The Christmas crackers or pull pops tradition comes from the UK and Commonwealth countries. The cracker is a cardboard tube wrapped in holiday wrapping, twisted and tied off at the ends. The fun part starts when you hold on to one side of the twisted end, another person holds the other, and you pull! With a loud BANG, the cracker will split unevenly, and one of the lucky people will be holding the longer end of the cracker — which holds a small prize.
5) Fried Chicken:
Yup, you read that correctly! Those who are living in Japan have already begun the process of pre-ordering their fried chicken for Christmas.
Unlike the traditional ham or turkey here in North America, families in Japan celebrate Christmas by having fried chicken. While less than 1 percent of the Japanese population estimated to be Christian, by the power of television and marketing ads, it has become common tradition to eat KFC during Christmas. The meal is also accompanied by a delicious Christmas cake for dessert.
6) Christmas Witch:
In Italy, kids will go to bed hoping and waiting for a magical witch to bring presents and treats for them. Not the traditional Santa Claus. In old Italian folklore, an old witch brings gifts and candy to children on Epiphany Eve (January 5th). Santa’s competitor, La Befana, is usually shown as an old lady riding a broomstick, covered in soot as she enters homes through chimneys. Instead of leaving milk and cookies for Santa, the kids leave wine and tasty treats out for her.
There is a superstition in Norway that tells households to hide their brooms on Christmas Eve. It is believed that witches and evil spirits will rise from the graves and use the brooms to fly through the sky and create chaos until dawn. Sounds a bit like Halloween right?