Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World

Dec 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Many of us have our own Christmas rituals we do every year.  In our house that usually involves an advent calender, Christmas cookies, Secret Santas, watching classic Christmas movies, a Christmas Eve box, Midnight Mass, and reading the classic poem “The Night Before Christmas” at bedtime, to name a few.

I suppose our traditions are very similar to most folks in the US.  We have friends over to share a Christmas Eve meal then tuck the kids to bed so the adults can play Santa.
But not everyone snuggles up by the fireplace to await St. Nick, there are many Christmas traditions around the world.  Some of them we would probably consider “normal” such eating rich Christmas pudding in England,  or laying out wooden shoes for St. Nick to fill for the kids in the Netherlands. But I came across a few “strange” traditions around the world I never would have imagined.  They are very interesting although I doubt we will be incorporating them in our own family traditions.
Klausjagan in Switzerland involves running
around town for a couple of hours chasing Santa Claus while wielding a whip.

In Austria children have fun being frightened by Krampus, Santa’s evil counterpart who punishes naughty kids.

In Iceland it’s said that the Yule Cat devours those who are less fortunate.

Deep fried Emperor Moth Caterpillars is a favorite Christmas dish in South Africa

The Mari Lywd (gray mare) ritual in Wales involves parading a horse skull around while signing carols.

A nativity scene in Spain is incomplete without “El Caganer” which is a man pooping.

Along the same theme in Spain, children beat their pooping log on Christmas Day until it bears candy and nuts.

In Germany the first child to find the pickle in the Christmas tree gets a small gift and a pickle.

 

 

In Norway one must hide their brooms from witches on Christmas Eve.

In Finland one must sleep on the floor on Christmas Eve so that the dead can use the bed.

In the Ukraine spider webs are popular ornaments, it’s believed that if you see a spider web on Christmas Day you’ll have good luck.

In the Czech Republic single women go out to their porch and with back against the door toss a shoe over their shoulder.  If the shoe lands pointing at the door, it’s a sure sign they will be married soon.

 

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