7 'Weird' Christmas Traditions From Around the World
Happy December my dear friends! It's my favorite time of year once again (and hopefully yours too, since you are perusing a Christmas blog!). I thought, why not kick off December and the holidays with a little list of 'weird' Christmas traditions from around the world? Let's get to it!
1. Austria's Krampus- Almost everyone knows about Krampus, because it's weird and creepy and I LOVE IT! I mean, who doesn't want to scare the pants off of misbehaving children? HA! Those twisted Europeans (I can say this, I am Macedonian). Krampus was St. Nicholas' companion, only he made sure to punish the naughty kids, where St. Nick rewarded the nice ones. Gotta love the crippling fear and years of therapy kids will experience once they see this guy.
2. Wales' Mari Lwyd- Man, I love people from times past. Everyone was disturbed (in a great way). Like the folk who dressed up a horse skull and paraded it around town, singing and caroling for food and drink. The group with the best-dressed skull costume, singing and general tom-foolery were the ones who were let in to party and be merry. So odd, but so cool.
3. Finland's Cemetery Christmas- Some people might find spending an evening in a cemetery morbid, but in Finland, they honour their dead on Christmas Eve. They visit their deceased relative's graves, leave flowers and light candles. I think that sounds so nice, and it must look and feel like a very special way to spend a special night.
4. Japan's Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas- This one makes sense to me. Because a lot of Japanese folk may not celebrate Christmas, many like to acknowledge it with some good old KFC. And why not? Just like a good option for New Year's Eve is celebrating with some sparkling wine and Chinese food while staying in (just me?), its a nice way to have a meal you didn't have to cook yourself, while acknowledging a day that not everyone celebrates.
5. Norway's No Cleaning on Christmas Eve- No cleaning on Christmas Eve! Sounds like my kind of tradition. All brooms are hidden away on Christmas Eve so that witches and goblins don't sneak in and steal it away. I say, steal it please!!
6. Germany's Hide a Pickle in the Tree- In Germany, after parents had hung the last ornament on the tree at night, they would then hide a pickle deep in the branches. The child who found it first would get an extra present, and if an adult found it, they would have good luck the rest of the year. Strange, but really sweet. Or garlicky, depends on how you like your pickles! I freaking love them so you better believe I would be sniffing around those branches, just for the tasty treat.
7. Spain's Caganer- Now this one is just hilarious. Pooping figurines in a Nativity scene? YEESSS. God I love people who have an awesome sense of humor about things. Many scholars like to analogize these figures to the 'fertilization of the earth', or 'in doing something so ungodly, it only shows how close to God we all are', I just see a pooping bum in a Nativity scene. Which is funny. I imagine that there is a lot of significance to these defecating guys and gals, but these days I believe they are more for entertainment value than anything. Please correct me if I'm wrong! Or don't, because pooping humor is the best kind.
So what are your holiday traditions? Mine is to drink. Oh, and eat. HA! I'm kidding (sort of), but please do tell me yours, I would love to hear how other people celebrate the season! In the meantime, enjoy a pickle, eat some KFC, be messy, and get the poop scared out of you this Christmas. All in good fun!