Christmas Traditions Around The World

When it comes to celebrating Christmas in America, it seems like every family has their own special traditions. From the way Santa lays out the presents, to what you eat for breakfast that morning, your neighbor's celebrations could look completely different from yours. If there are this many different traditions and rituals in America, we can only imagine how many strange Christmas traditions exist in countries around the world. Here are 14 of the weirdest ways people celebrate Christmas in other countries. In fact, some of these don't even look like Christmas at all. Do you think you'll be trying out any of these with your family this year?

1. Christmas Eve is a bigger deal in Estonia than Christmas day itself. Everyone begins the festivities with a trip to the nude sauna. As if catching up with distant relatives wasn't awkward enough.


2. This is a Kalliknatzeri. In Greece, they're believed to wreak mischief over the course of the 12 days of Christmas. They also wait until the 1st of January to give each other presents.


3. Krampus, while not a part of the American tradition, is known by many throughout the world. In Austria, he is believed to be a demon that abducts the naughty children. Coal doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

BJ Winslow

4. Every Christmas morning in Caracas, Venezuela, they shut down the roads to allow people to skate to church.

Steven Mileham


5. In Germany, December 6th is a big holiday. On Nikolaustag, or St. Nikolaus Day, kids leave their shoes outside of their rooms the night before and awake to find them full of goodies.

Sabine Marzahn

6. KFC is a popular destination for Christmas dinner in Japan. Many locations even require reservations.


7. A common tradition in Slovakia involves the head of the house flinging a spoon full of Loksa at the ceiling during Christmas Eve dinner. Apparently, if most of the Loksa sticks to the ceiling, next year's harvest will be rich.

Michael Sanger

8. Children in Italy are visited by "La Befana." Instead of a bearded man in a sleigh, she's a witch who delivers presents via broom. This takes place on January 6th, otherwise known as "Epiphany Day."

Maurizio LIGABUE

9. Similarly to Krampus, Iceland has something called the "Yule Cat." Legend says that the Yule Cat comes to eat those who don’t have new clothes to wear before Christmas time. Because of this, wool farmers used the threat of the Yule Cat to motivate their employees to work harder.

Katrin Glaesmann


10. You've probably heard Christmas songs mention "figgy pudding." Well, the most important dish in Britain is the Christmas Pudding. It's made of plums and each family tends to have their own recipe that they probably believe is the best in the country. While it's being made, each family member takes a turn stirring the pudding and wishes for something. This event takes place on the final Sunday before advent, and is appropriately referred to as “Stir Up Sunday.”


11. The French keep a yule log burning from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day. They believe that this brings them good fortune during next year's harvest.


12. In Oaxaca, Mexico, people sculpt radishes on December 23rd, otherwise known as the “Night of the Radishes.” Some choose to depict a nativity scene, but you are allowed to create whatever you want to.


13. Instead of Fraser firs, enormous Pohutukawa trees are a symbol of Christmas in New Zealand.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds

14. A Ukrainian Christmas might look more like Halloween considering they decorate their trees with fake spiders and cobwebs. Spiders and their webs symbolize good luck in Ukrainian culture. This originates from an old legend in which a poor family didn’t have enough money to decorate their tree, so the spiders in their house covered it in beautiful webs the night before Christmas.

Marty Gabel

Via: Life Buzz

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