A lot of what we do here in the states for Christmas is similar to Thanksgiving. If you look up what’s under United States on Wikipedia’s list of Christmas Dishes, at the bottom you will even see “See also: Thanksgiving (the dishes tend to be similar)”. As for activities, we gather around with family and friends and exchange gifts. Well, enough about Christmas traditions we are familiar with… Here’s what I found to be the most interesting Christmas traditions around the world!
5. Norway’s Broom Hiding
Hide your kids, hide your wives, and hide your… broom? (Fyi, referencing the Bed Intruder song.) Apparently, there is a Norwegian legend that on Christmas Eve, evil spirits and witches come to people’s houses and steal brooms and try to take over! So the tradition is to hide your brooms to prevent this from happening!
4. Austria’s Krampus Night
If I were to use one phrase to explain this one it would be “the anti-Santa”. The legend is Krampus is basically a beast demon that punishes kids for being on the “naughty” list, opposite of Santa who rewards kids on the “nice” list with presents. He also carries a sack with him, but instead of giving out anything like Santa does, he uses it to kidnap the kids and take them to his lair!
3. Greenland’s Rotten Auk
When I think of Christmas meat, I think of Turkey and Ham. The last thing I might think of is a bird called Auk. Oh wait, no, the absolute last thing I would think of is Rotten Auk. However, this is something that Greeland residents eat for Christmas. The bird is killed and cut down, wrap it up, buried under a rock for months, before being served on Christmas day.
2. Spain’s Pooping Peasant
Picture this. The nativity scene. You got Mary, Joseph, 3 wise men, Baby Jesus, and so forth. Oh, and in the corner there’s also a pooping peasant. Wait a minute. That doesn’t seem right! Well, turns out it’s a tradition in Spain! El Caganer is the great defacator and is found in many nativity scenes in Spain. The exact origins are actually lost now but it’s dated back centuries!
1. Japan’s KFC Fried Chicken
No, this one isn’t about poop or rotten foods, but I thought it was the most interesting as the only reason Japan has the Christmas tradition of eating KFC’s Fried Chicken is pure powerful marketing! Many KFC’s in Japan have to order their fried chickens 2 months in advance before Christmas because of how many sales there will be!
- 10 Wacky Christmas Traditions From Around the World (care2.com)
- 7 Weird Christmas Traditions Around the World (wildjunket.com)
- Christmas Traditions Around The World (huffingtonpost.com)