The world’s weirdest Christmas traditions

Purple Tips: World’s Weirdest Christmas Traditions

Number 8 Spending Christmas in Greenland? None of that brussel sprout stuff for you, locals feast on a fine delicacy called Mattak otherwise known as raw whale skin.

Mattak under creative commons by @risager

Number 7 Use your boot to get a man. Single women in the Czech Republic throw a shoe over their shoulder while standing with their back to the front door. Not to knock someone out and nurse them back to help (haven’t we all thought of that?) but if the shoe lands pointing to the door, it is said the lucky lady will be married within a year.

Christmas boot under creative commons by @Ryan Vaarsi

Number 6 Add a spider to your tree. In the Ukraine it’s tradition to hide a spider and its web somewhere in amongst the decorations on the tree. Whoever finds it is said to be blessed with good luck for the year to come.

Christmas Spider under creative commons by @ jdhancock 

Number 5 Hide your broom. In Norway it’s thought the barrier between evil spirits and ghosts is at its thinnest on Christmas Eve, so naturally enough the ladies of the house go mad hiding their brooms, while the husbands go out with their shotgun to try to warn off any overly-motivated spirits.

Broomsticks under creative commons by @ rcsj

Number 4 Christmas is for eating. That’s a given. We’re used to Turkey, stuffing and sprouts, but in Japan, KFC on Christmas Day is so popular it can be ordered up to two months in advance.

KFC under creative commons by @ saechang

Number 3 get your skates on in Caracas, you’ll need them. In Venezuela’s capital city it’s tradition to rollerskate your way to early morning church services. The streets are even blocked off to allow worshippers get to their destination safely.

Rollerskates under creative commons by @ Jovanlaar

Number 2 Santa’s evil twin in Austria At Christmas all across Austria, where a demon creature comes to life to punish children. This guy is Santa’s bad half and we promise he’d scare anyone! The Krampus is let loose on the streets to frighten and beat children into better behaviour.

Krampus under creative commons by @ Colorfulfoxes

The number 1 has to be Catalonia’s poo log. Caga Tio, the smiley Yule log is seen throughout the region – if you’re in Barcelona you can’t miss it. A hollow log is set by the fire from Dec 8th and fed every night and covered with a little blanket to keep him warm. On Christmas Eve the log is beaten with a stick and a cheerful song orders him to poop.

Caga Tio under creative commons by @ Joancg

The song goes a bit like this:

Caga tió, Poo log,

caga torró, poo nougats (turrón),

avellanes i mató, hazelnuts and cottage cheese,

si no cagues bé, if you don’t poo well,

et daré un cop de bastó. I’ll hit you with a stick,

caga tió! poo log!

About the author

Petros
  • Kathryn Burrington

    How very bizzare that last one is. Thank you for the laugh! (and give me turkey and sprouts over raw whale skin or KFC anytime of the year – not sure which is worse!)

    • http://blog.purpletravel.co.uk/ purpletravelkate

      I know! I’ve seen a live action version in the centre of BCN one year… now that was eye opening 😀

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