Here in the UK, we pull a Christmas cracker after dinner, but while it might seem normal to me, to other parts of the world that might well seem odd. But in likewise some of their traditions seems rather odd to me as well…
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Poor Austrian children live in fear of the Christmas Krampus! This festive devil is said to beat naughty children with tree branches. Best stay good all year then!
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Otherwise known as the “pooping Log” this log slice is decorated with a face and covered in a blanket. To makes things even weirder it is them placed half-way into the fire and beaten with sticks! Poor little Tio de Nadal
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No-one is really sure why so many Japanese people like to enjoy dinner in KFC, but most people put it down to KFC’s powerful advertising around the festive time of year, giving off that family together vibe.
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There was I thinking their Easter trees tradition was weird, along comes the tradition of the Christmas pickle. Before going to bed Christmas eve parents hide a pickle in the Christmas tree and on Christmas day morning the first child of the family to discover the pickle will get a small extra gift. Brings a whole new level of fun to the hide the pickle game.
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What happens when you live in a country that doesn’t naturally grow pine trees? Well, you pay the earth for import fees, get a plastic one or follow the age-old tradition of decorating a beautiful Pohutukawa tree with its stunning red blossom.
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Living here in Wales I have witnesses dome rather odd traditions indeed, but I have never witnessed this first hand because it mostly takes place in North Wales, where people tend to keep the older traditions going. Anyway, it is basically when a villager is chosen at random and they are then paraded around the local shops and marketed bearing the skull of a mare on the end of a stick. Yep! Just another day here in Wales.
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This isn’t any cute and cuddly joys of Caturday, this is the Yule cat and he is said to stalk the Icelandic hills seeking all those who don’t receive new clothes before Christmas Eve. If you are one of the unlucky ones who don’t this mythical cat is said to devoured you whole. What a nice kitty!
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Just for once, this is not a scary witch who eats children who are naughty, she is a friendly witch who delivers sweets and gifts. Like Santa, only on a broomstick.
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In some parts of Latvia people still do the “mummers” tradition of travelling around people’s houses and giving them a treat in return of a blessing. Yep, you guessed it. It’s like carol singers, only a thousand times scarier.
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I wanted to finish with this tradition because it is not as silly as the others and in fact quite a nice way to celebrate this time of year. In Finland, people light candles to remember loved ones. The bigger the family, the more candles are alight, often on the doorstep. The perfect festive tradition and one I hope never dies out.