By now we know the routine. We enjoy putting up our decorations, listening to classic Christmas tunes, watching a few of our favourite Christmas films, and having a mouth-watering Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
But what if I told you that around the world people do things a little differently? This includes the things they eat, the decorations put up, and other superstitions! Let’s look at 5 Christmas traditions from around the world which seem surreal to us here in the UK.
Tió de Nadal (Christmas Log)
Tió de Nadal is a Christmas tradition celebrated in Catalonia (Spain) where a hollow log with 2 or 4 legs a happy cartoon face painted on is cared for from the 8th of December being covered with a blanket and ‘fed’ each night.
The idea is that children must take care of the log until Christmas day so that it will ‘poop’ presents. Starting of strong. From their the tail end of the log is placed in the fireplace so that it will ‘poop’ presents, or if the home doesn’t have a fire place, it is beaten with sticks by the children while singing various songs. This usually involves the presents being under the blanket and relatives revealing them for effect.
The Legend of the Christmas Spider originates from an eastern European folktale about a poor widow who could not afford Christmas decorations, here children went to bed sad, but awoke the next morning to see the tree covered in cobwebs, turning gold and silver when the sunlight hit the tree making it beautifully decorated.
(Image courtesy: Tanya Mykytiuk)
Today people in Ukraine decorate their trees with spider ornaments and webs in place of some baubles and tinsel. What do you think? Do you like spiders enough to include them on your Christmas tree this year?
Kentucky Fired Christmas
Could you imagine not having a Christmas dinner and instead going and grabbing a mega bucket from your nearest KFC? Well in Japan that’s what people eat for the festive holiday, often having to order/book weeks in advance due to how busy KFC chains get during Christmas.
(Image courtesy: Daily Mail)
It all started with an advertising campaign in 1974, with KFC putting out the slogan ‘Kentucky for Christmas’ It caught on till today where KFC reported record breaking of sales of £44,000,000 in 2019! With the tradition now becoming so strong that other companies offering their own fried chicken.
Hiding the Brooms?
Look we are all a little superstitious to some extent, but in Norway they take it a step further. Every Christmas eve people in Norway believe they should hide their brooms in their closets. This is because of the belief that witches awake on this night and will take them to ride across the country.
The Legend of the Swedish Yule Goat
A town in Sweden called Gavle each year builds a giant statue of a goat made entirely of straw and wood, this is to mark the beginning of the holiday season. The Yule Goat is chosen due to Northern European festivals known as ‘Yule’ these then became part of Christmas traditions in Sweden and a other countries.
(Image courtesy: BYU College of Humanities)
Here is where it gets interesting. Each year the town tries to protect the statue, however arsonist take it upon themselves to try and burn down the goat. For this it is sprayed with flameproof chemicals and the straw is often soaked in water. This doesn’t always stop it from burning though, with arsonists trying new things each year. Like in 2005 when a group dressed as Santa and Gingerbread men launched flaming arrows into the goat! This Year it survived, and you can read more at My Modern Met.
As you can see, there are plenty of fun traditions from all across the world, why not have a look and see if you can find some more yourself.
Check out our recommendations for items to wrap up warm this winter!