Not so long ago, we took a look at some of the weirdest Christmas decor around. Halfway through the piece (or once we reached Caga Tio, to be more precise), it struck us that the world indeed boasts the weirdest collection of Christmas traditions. From a warmed-up bucket of KFC wings as the festive dinner to Jeepers Creepers-looking creatures running after naughty children, we’ve collected eight traditions that make our world a more interesting, more diverse, and funnier place to inhabit!
Catalonia and Its Penchant for Physical Relief
Nope, the famous cheery log that’s placed halfway into a fireplace only to be beaten with sticks on Christmas Eve is not where it stops when it comes to Catalonians. People of Catalonia also love to add a little extra to their interpretation of the Nativity. Thus, we end up with the peculiar character of Caganer. As if originating from the very same myth book that Caga Tio came from, Caganer is a tiny figure of a man who’s in the process of defecation. Yes, there’s a pattern here.
KFC Family Dinner
In all honesty, Christmas never reached real mainstream acceptance in Japan. Remaining as more of a gimmick than an actual festivity as it’s viewed in the West, the event is largely based (and thus, accordingly decorated) on the image the Japanese public was introduced to during the 1970’s, particularly the TV advertisements for Kentucky Fried Chicken products. In a weird turn of events and thanks to the flashy KFC ads, a new Christmas “tradition” was born. To this day, a big bucket of crispy chicken wings is a must feature on most Japanese Christmas tables. Hey, whatever makes one merry!
Krampus – The Creepy Guy That Hunts Little Kids
Behind every sweet and crummy Santa is a demon lurking in the shadows. In Austria, this demon bears the name of Krampus, and its appearance goes completely hand in hand with the designation. In fact, the most confusing part here is the ever-increasing realism of the masks that people wear to portray Krampus during Christmas Eve in the Austrian state of Tyrol. For someone not familiar with the millennia-old folk tale, the tradition could truly turn into a rather unpleasant experience. For kids, it might as well result in actual trauma, as these creatures don’t just look intimidating. We’re talking about Hollywood horror flick levels of scary here. Nevertheless, Krampus is Austria’s favourite when it comes to ghouls and goblins. Enjoy!
Bavaria Takes It to the Next Level
What do mortars and Christmas have in common? While a regular person would have difficulty finding any rational link between the two, Bavarians don’t have to look too far for the answer. Although this really sounds like something out of a comedy flick, the southern Germans like to commemorate Yuletide with mortar salvos echoing throughout the glorious Bavarian mountainscape. Additionally, the men firing their cannons are all dressed in the traditional Bavarian set of lederhosen. What a glorious sight it must be.
Caracas – The Capital of Roller Skaters
Another odd, albeit incredibly fun, event takes place at Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Every Christmas, thousands of people make their way to the early church service… on roller skates. Although there’s really no mythical basis to this peculiar tradition, the Caracas roller skater mass is held in really high regard. From December 16 to December 24, all roads are closed to car traffic to give the skaters complete freedom of movement. If not for the next entry, this could easily be the most random Christmas custom on the list!
Wales – The Only Place Where One Shares Carols with a Skull
At times, it’s hard to tell what we are witnessing here. Is that a Halloween crowd or Christmas celebrants outside your window? A bizarre holiday season tradition professed in Wales does nothing to make the answer arrive easily. Called Mari Lwyd, this ritual includes a group of people moving from house to house performing carols in order to wangle some food and drinks. However, there’s one nuance that sets this apart from a regular carol session. One of the people is dressed like a horse with an actual skull functioning as the head. The result looks like something straight from a very dark Jim Henson fantasy flick.
The Absolutely Worst Christmas Cuisine Ever
Although traditional cuisines could easily provide enough subject matter for a standalone article, this one simply had to be included just for the sheer amount of off-putting details involved. Greenland sure knows how to prepare a memorable Christmas table, serving goodies such as Mattak (raw whale skin) and Kiviak. The latter is hands down one the most repugnant dishes you will ever find on the menu. In fact, as the majority of photos seemed to depict a badly preserved mummy we had to the SFW way with a simple image of an auk bird. And, as we already touched upon the subject, it’s worth noting that the preparation process actually involves some form of mummification. In short, 500 dead auk birds are stuffed into a bag made from seal’s skin only to be left to ferment for the following 7 months. A recipe worthy of the witch’s den.
Canada – A Place Where Your Letters Will Be Answered
Alright, this is not so much a custom as a cute, recently invented tradition. If your little one decides to write a letter addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0, there’s a huge possibility that it will actually be answered. The Canadian postal service recognizes this address, and therefore, each letter bearing the credentials is opened, read, and guaranteed to receive a response. This is an actual dream-come-true experience for kids and without a doubt one of the sweetest modern Christmas traditions.
My-Picture.co.uk wishes you a peaceful festive period and a beautiful Christmas! Last minute gift solutions can be found here!