Christmas might have begun purely as a Christian holiday season, and often celebrated as one, people from all over the globe have grasped the festival and included their traditions along the way. Shopping for Christmas gifts, decorating Christmas trees along with smiley snowmen, Manger scenes, and Santa Claus is still predominant. But, if you have a close look, you will find some several takes on the most memorable day of December.
Here we bring you the most bizarre Christmas traditions around the globe.
Caracas: The Roller Skate Mass
In Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, people of the city travel on roller skates to mass each year on Christmas morning. The tradition is so well-ingrained that many streets of the city get restricted to traffic from 8 am on Christmas day so that the skating audience can go safely to church.
Iceland: The Yule Cat
One of the most unusual festive traditions comes from Iceland. It is said that during Christmas time, a giant cat roams the snowy countryside. The Yule Cat was traditionally used as an incentive for workers, by the farmers – people who worked hard were given a new set of clothes, but the enormous cat-like beast would consume the people who did not. Today, in Iceland, it is custumal for everybody to buy new clothes for Christmas to avoid an unpleasant demise. So you will see people buying new clothes as Christmas gifts for boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, and family.
Ukraine: The Cobweb Christmas
Ukraine’s weirdest festive tradition is not for people with a fear of spiders. Usual decorations around the world would be with tinsel, baubles, and stars. While in Ukraine, people use embellishments that mirror the natural composition of spiders’ webs glimmering with dew. The custom goes back to the story of a poor widow who was unable to afford a Xmas gift or at least decorate a tree for her children. It is said that spiders in their home, empathized with the family, and spun marvelous webs all around the tree, which the children found after waking to Christmas morning. In Ukrainian culture, Spiders’ webs are considered to be fortunate.
Japan: Colonel Santa
A festive season marketing campaign in Japan, back in 1974, was released by the American fast-food restaurant KFC. Thrives to this day, the simple slogan “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) Created a national tradition. In Japan, Christmas is not considered a national holiday. However, families from all around the country go to their local KFC outlets to have a special Christmas Eve meal. While it may be fried chicken, anticipate paying a higher amount on the massive sales day of the year.
Germany: Pickle in the tree
The Christmas tree tradition started in Germany back in the 16th Century, is embraced around the world today. So it’s no surprise that our Teutonic relative still has some entertaining customs associating with the festive trees. Hiding a pickle somewhere within the branches of the tree is one of them, and giving a gift to the child in the household who finds it. One story says that the Christmas pickle tradition began in Spain when two young boys were held inside a pickle barrel, as prisoners. The boys were rescued by Saint Nicholas and brought back to life.
South Africa: Fried Caterpillars
Christmas plum-cake, minced pie, and turkey are often high on the list when you think of Christmas food. However, In South Africa, it’s the nasty crawling creatures that local children await. Fried caterpillars would be one of the most bizarre Christmas traditions around the globe, but these caterpillars are not the usual variety that you find in the garden. The Christmas caterpillar, or in simple words The Pine Tree Emperor Moth, is covered in festive shades giving a little extra luck to all who swallow it.