If you think Christmas is all about Christmas Trees and mistletoe, then think again. This season is also the time to celebrate the world’s most bizarre traditions. While the Japanese enjoy a KFC Christmas feast, the people in Wales celebrate horse skulls. Check them all out here:
KFC Christmas Dinner
Place of Origin: Japan
In Japan, they don’t believe it’s Christmas unless they see a bucket of fried chicken from KFC. In fact, during Christmas, the popular fast-food chain can sell up to 240,000 barrels of chicken. So to make sure they get one, people have their names listed ahead of time.
Place of Origin: Venezuela
In Caracas, Venezuela, kids go to sleep on Christmas Eve with a string tied around their big toe. The other end of the string will be hung on their bedroom window. On Christmas morning, everybody wakes up and puts on their roller skates. As they attend the early mass, they pull on any strings that are still hanging from the windows.
Hide Pooping Figures in a Spanish Nativity Scene
Place of Origin: Spain
It is common to see the Nativity scene during Christmas. However, in Spain, people hide little figurines of people pooping called caganers in the Nativity. These are said to represent prosperity and fertilization. In the recent years, caganers that look like famous people have become extremely popular in the country.
Get Frightened by Krampus
Place of Origin: Austria
Everyone knows Santa Claus is the jolly old guy who gives toys to children who have been good the whole year. But only a few knows about his evil rival, Krampus. This persona is responsible for punishing kids who have been bad. In Austria, men dress like him and wander the streets to scare off children during Christmas.
Place of Origin: Spain
It seems that Spain really has something with poop during the yuletide season. Aside from having shenanigans in their Nativity scene, they also paint a face on a tree trunk. Every night, the kids at home “feed” the log and cover it with a blanket to keep it warm. On Christmas Day, the log is thrown into the fireplace and is told to poop. But there is a right way in doing this. Kids must first beat the log using sticks and sing “Tio de Nadal”. After beating it, nuts and candies come out of the log.
Chase Santa Claus
Place of Origin: Switzerland
Switzerland has this festival called Klausjagan, which means chasing the Klaus. For two hours, people in villages use 8-foot whips and chase St. Nick around. Then they’ll be followed by 200 people wearing massive glowing hats. This is done every December 5 to drive away evil spirits.
Pose with an Assault Rifle
Place of Origin: Arizona
Americans can be weird at times, especially those who live in Arizona. Each year, the Scottsville Gun Club hosts an event called Santa and Machine Guns. Every member of the family has to choose among a shot gun, a machine gun, a grenade launcher, and an assault rifle and carry it while taking a pose. But if you feel uncomfortable with these weapons, you need not to worry because there is a team of Christmas elves who will offer you a quick gun safety lessons.
Celebrate the Horse Skull
Place of Origin: Wales
Although this is a very old Christmas tradition in Wales, it is pretty surprising that it has withstood the test of time. To celebrate with the Welsh, you need to have a skull of a horse (if possible, a mare). Next, secure it to a wooden pole. The pole and the person who holds this must be covered in sheets because it is only the skull that matters. Then it will be carried around the village while everybody sings Christmas songs.
Hide Your Brooms
Place of Origin: Norway
On Christmas Eve, the woman of the house will hide all the brooms. This tradition started about hundreds of years ago. They believe that witches come out on Christmas Eve and will then look for brooms.
Decorate with Spiderwebs
Place of Origin: Ukraine
In Ukraine, every household should have spiderwebs in their Christmas tree decorations. This tradition started long ago when a woman from an old folk tale didn’t have anything to hang on her Christmas tree because she was too poor. On Christmas morning, the kids just woke up to see the tree filled with webs. When the magical light of Christmas touched the webs, they instantly became threads of silver and gold. Since then, the family never asked for anything.
Sleep on the Floor
Place of Origin: Finland
If you are from Finland, you are probably used to sleeping on the floor during Christmas. This is because the Finnish believe that the dead will use their beds for the night.
For the Finns, Christmas is the time to remember those who departed. It is also the time to prepare meal for them and visit their graves.
Place of Origin: Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, the single ladies will have to stand on their balcony and toss their shoes over their shoulder with their back to the door on Christmas day. When the shoe lands pointing at the door, it means she’ll soon be married.