Sunday, December 10, 2017

Worldwide Christmas traditions


There are many unique Christmas traditions known around the world! Here are a few:

  1. Catalonians have the Tio de Nadal, otherwise known as the “pooping log.” It is decorated with a face and blanket on Christmas Eve, then the log is placed halfway into a fire and beaten with sticks.
  2. On Christmas Eve, there is absolutely no cleaning in Norway- all brooms are safely hidden away in case they’re stolen by witches and evil spirits.
  3. In Japan, many families have the tradition of eating KFC on Christmas Eve.
  4. Krampus, a half goat, half man, horrific beast who literally beats people into being nice and not naughty. The anti- St. Nicholas comes with a chain and bells that he lashes about, along with a bundle of birch sticks he uses to swat children. The name Krampus originates from the German word “krapmen,” meaning claw. The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany where Christmas celebrations begin in early December. Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children and take them to his lair. Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night before December 6, known as “krampusnacht.”
  5. In Germany, parents hide a pickle in the Christmas tree, and the first child to find it receives a small gift. Also in Germany, the German children leave a shoe outside the house on December 5th, which is then filled with sweets overnight. Naughty children awake to find a tree branch in the shoe instead.
  6. The Yule Cat in said to stalk the Icelandic hills. Those who don’t receive new clothes before Christmas Eve are said to be devoured by this mythical beast (Iceland).
  7. (Great Britain) An age old tradition dictates that each member of the family must stir the Christmas pudding mix in a clockwise direction before it’s cooked, making a wish as they do so.
  8. (Italy) Rather than Santa Claus, Italian children await the arrival of Befana, a friendly witch who delivers sweets and toys on the fifth of January.
  9. In England, Santa Claus traditionally leaves presents in a child’s stocking on Christmas Eve. However, naughty children may wake up on Christmas morning to find a lump of coal in their stockings.
  10. USA - Americans have created a boozy Christmas tradition called The Running of the Santas. Each event sees scores of people- dressed as Santa- taking part in a large bar crawl.

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