7 Totally Crazy Christmas Traditions – That You May Want To Adopt For Yourself!
Ah Christmas. From fighting over the last turkey at the supermarket, to inviting family you don’t even like to your house for festivities, it truly is a joyous time of the year.
But if you really want some entertainment this year (and we’re not talking about your drunk uncle making inappropriate jokes at the dinner table), check out these crazy Christmas traditions from all over the world. You may even find one or two to adopt for your next 25th of December!
1. Merry Poopin’ Christmas
If you ever find yourself in northeastern Spain for Christmas (or more specifically, the region of Catalonia) you may wonder what the heck is going on when everyone gets their Pinterest on, crafting a ‘log-type’ character with a face and a little hat on top.
For the two weeks prior to Christmas, you ‘feed’ this log fruit, nuts and sweets, and then on Christmas Eve, everyone gets to beat the log with sticks and sing a fascinating song which basically translates to ‘if you don’t crap well, I’ll beat you with a stick.’
There’s no question caga tió very much resembles the tradition of piñatas in Mexico, but with one very distinct difference – this one is all about a defecating log. To be honest, it sounds like an absolute blast!
2. Happy Finger Lickin’ Holidays
All that stress over what to have for Christmas lunch is non-existent in Japan, because they just head to their local Kentucky Fried Chicken to put in their order for a couple of family buckets! Yup, KFC is the food of choice for the Japanese on the 25th of December, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, most home ovens in Japan are quite small, so there isn’t room for an oversized ham or turkey. Secondly, Christmas isn’t actually all that big in Japan, but it’s something they do like to participate in – so getting a delicious takeaway is a celebration of that. And thirdly, in the 1970s there was a hugely successful KFC ad campaign, which kicked off this fun tradition in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Reservations for the restaurants and specially packaged delivery orders are booked out months in advance. There’s no foul play here – it’s a cluckin’ good time!
3. Oh Holy Horse
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Undead horse. Nope, not answering the door.
You know how in some parts of the world joyful carollers go door to door singing festive songs? Well, it’s kind of like that. Except in South Wales, residents carry around a horse’s skull attached to a pole with a white sheet draped over it. They knock on their neighbour’s doors, shove this undead horse in their face, and do a pleasant wee sing song (which is reciprocated by the homeowner who then gives them some food or drink, which is rather generous if you ask us!).
It’s all a bit odd, but hey, who are we to judge? You do you boo.
4. Jingle Webs
While it may sound like they have their holidays mixed up, Ukrainians may actually be rather smart with their tradition of adorning their Christmas trees with pretend spiders and webs. You decorate for Halloween and ‘hey presto’, you’re sorted for Chrissy too.
Said to bring luck, the tradition comes from folklore that tells of a poor widow and her children who weren’t able to afford flashy decorations for their Christmas tree. The children were sad and the mum was sad too, but luckily the friendly spiders next door heard their plight and came to the rescue!
All night they spun their shiny webs, so that in the morning when the sun came up, the Christmas tree glittered of silver and gold – much to the delight of everyone.
Aww, how sweet. Who knew spiders were so thoughtful? Not us!
5. Tis’ the season for… cleaning?
While most people save their spring cleaning till, well, spring, in Guatemala it’s actually the week before Christmas when they prefer to go gangbusters – sweeping, tidying, sorting, decluttering and piling up all the rubbish outside their homes.
And no, it’s not because the in-laws are coming! It’s actually because the locals believe that the devil and evil spirits live in the dark, dirty corners of your home. Then, here’s the big finale: they place an effigy of the devil on top of the rubbish and set the whole darned thing on fire!
Imagine having to add this to your to-do list before Christmas?
– Clean whole house
– Burn stuff
6. All I want for Christmas is a radish
Who knows what the heck this one is all about, but in the Mexican city of Oaxaca there is an event called the ‘Night of the Radishes’ in the days before Christmas.
So the deal is, you get your hand on a radish or two (or 100), and get to work carving these delightful, albeit underrated purple vegetables. And there are no rules! You can carve whatever you like, big or small, simple or ridiculously complex. From nativity scenes, to monsters and everything in between, thousands of people visit the city just to bear witness to this crazy tradition.
The radishes are grown specifically for this event, and pumped with chemicals to help them grow larger than they would organically. But of course, it’s all over within a matter of hours because unfortunately radishes don’t stand up too well outside of the fridge.
7. YuleLads Greetings
Yule be glad to learn about these 13 mischievous trolls that appear every Christmas in Iceland. They take turns to visit children who have left their shoes in their bedroom windows, leaving presents for those on the good list, and rotting potatoes for those on the naughty list!
But perhaps the best thing about this tradition are the pseudonyms of the Yule Lads – you’ve got Doorway-Sniffer, Spoon-Licker, Sausage-Swiper, Candle-Stealer, Curd-Gobbler, Window-Peeper and seven other equally strange names!
Some rather weird and wonderful things go on around the world at Christmas time and it really has made us put our own traditions into perspective – they’re a little bit dull and safe! So we’re off to the shops to buy some brown cardboard, it’s time to stuff a faux poo full of sweets, nuts and fruit.