Christmas is celebrated all around the world. However, there are some strange Christmas rituals followed in different parts of the globe. Here’s a sneak peek to some of the strange yet fun rituals.
La Befana – Italy
Similar to the concept of Santa Claus, La Befana is a “jolly old elf” who rides a sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer. La Befana is a witch who flies on a broom and distributes sweets on the eve of Epiphany Day, which typically falls on January 6.
The Yule Cat (Jolakotturinn) – Iceland
The famous Icelandic Christmas character is the scary Yule Cat who eats children who haven’t worked hard enough. It’s basically a concept similar to that of Santa Claus, where kids who have finished all the work before Christmas get new clothes and are safe from the scary cat. This frightening Icelandic Yule cat prowls only for the lazy bums in old clothes. Therefore, a good reason to go clothes shopping.
Caga Tió ‘Christmas Crapper’- Spain, Catolonia
Strange but fun Christmas ritual in Spain, a tree trunk called ‘tió’ which has a hole inside along with tiny legs and a cute face painted on it, is given food to eat every night by children and is also covered by blanket so that it doesn’t feel cold. In a very interesting ritual on Christmas day tió is partly put into the fireplace and ordered to poop. Tió is also beaten by children with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal and there are candies and nuts for everyone to share.
Night of the Radishes – Oaxaca, Mexico
Yet another strange Christmas ritual Noche de los rábanos is celebrated in Oaxaca, Mexico on December 23. This ritual is all about radishes sculpted into nativity scenes and historical figures, which fill up the city.
Hide the brooms – Norway
In Norway is it believed that witches come out on the Christmas eve to look for brooms to ride on. Therefore, it’s customary to hide all the brooms in Norway before going to bed on Christmas eve.
Find the almond in the rice pudding – Sweden
In Sweden, it is believed that whoever gets that one peeled almond hidden inside the rice pudding at Christmas will get married within a year.
Spider web Christmas tree – Ukraine
Ukraine has a tradition of hiding an artificial spider and its web inside the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the eight-legged spider is granted good luck.
Yule goat – Scandinavia
In Scandinavian cities, the Yule goat — a pre-Christian era figure made of straw — is erected in the town square. In a previous life, the goat took the form of costumed was sailers who would go door to door for songs and pranks. In some countries, the goat has been replaced by a much more cheerful gnome-like creature called the Jultomte.
KFC in Japan
If you thought all above are bit of strange rituals, listen to this one. The “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) meal are a must have for Christmas in Japan and as good as Christmas cake and champagne to the other parts of the globe. the Japanese can pay anything Kentucky fired chicken for Christmas!