Cultural traditions provide a connection between generations of families that can last for hundreds of years. For those that celebrate them, Christmas traditions are perhaps the most nostalgic of all… for better or for worse. Check out our fun list of Christmas traditions from around the world. Some are heartwarming, some bizarre and some are downright weird but they are all culturally important in some way to those that enjoy them.
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20 Awesome (and strange) Christmas Traditions from Around the World
#1 Japan – Eating at KFC
A prominent advertising campaign in the 1970s made eating at KFC during the Christmas season a national custom. It is so popular that reservations are often made months in advance.
#2 Catalonia – Pooping in the Nativity
No Catalonia nativity scene is complete without the traditional statue of a man defecating near the baby Jesus. I hope the wise men brought enough frankincense.
#3 Sweden – The Yule Goat
Every Christmas season in Sweden, a Yule Goat is constructed in the Center of Gavel’s Castle Square for the locals to enjoy. Unfortunately, attempting to burn it down has also become a tradition for local troublemakers. It has been successfully burned down 29 times since 1966. Rude!
#4 Venezuela – Roller Skating to Church
Church-going Venezuelans attend worship services like many people do on Christmas day; however, they travel to church on roller skates. Roads are closed so Venezuelans of all ages can roller skate to church in safety.
#5 South Africa – Eating Deep Fried Caterpillars
If you are South African you may or may not look forward to the Christmas tradition of eating deep fried caterpillars on Christmas day.
#6 Austria – Krampus Will Get You
In Austria, Krampus, Santa’s evil associate, is said to take naughty children into his sack. Folks dress up as Krampus and scare children, leaving them with Christmas nightmares rather than visions of sugarplums.
#7 New Zealand – A Different Kind of Christmas Tree
The Pohutukawa flowers in December and is commonly used as a symbol of Christmas in this area of the world. The Pohutukawa tree is known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree.
#8 Philippines – Christmas starts in September
The Philippines celebrate the longest Christmas season with many people sending Christmas cards as early as SEPTEMBER!
#9 – Ireland – Drink Yourself Silly
In Ireland, friends traditionally go to the pub for a Christmas drink. Then they go to each others houses for a Christmas drink, after that, well… they drink some more. Nothing like a Christmas hang out followed by a Christmas hangover.
#10 Norway – All Brooms are Hidden
In Norway during Christmas eve, there is to be no cleaning. You are expected to hide your household brooms. Hundreds of years ago, Norwegians believed witches would steal them and ride away in the night sky.
#11 Ukraine – Decorating the Tree with Spiders
Who doesn’t love gathering around the tree and decorating it with tinsel and…spiders??? In the Ukraine, Christmas trees are decorated with fake spider webs and a large artificial spider.
#12 Slovakia – Throwing Pudding on the Ceiling
Every year, Slovakian men will throw a spoonful of loksa pudding on the ceiling. The goal is to make it stick bringing good luck to the family.