Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas is celebrated around the world, countries have their own most unique & weird traditions, some are old and some created with time. The celebration start from Advent around 4 weeks before Christmas Day or from Saint Nicholas Day in some countries and celebrated until Epiphany January 6.

1. Giant Lantern festival, Philippines

In the Philippines a giant lantern festival is held during Christmas, a competition of 11 villages in San Fernando city, Philippines. The festival celebrates the Christmas spirit by making large and giant lanterns with many lights and different colors. The festival is organized between December 17, 2023 to January 1, 2024.

unique weird christmas traditions around the world
(i) Evil Krampus, (ii)Polar Bear Plunge, (iii) Roller skating

2. Evil Krampus

The Krampus traditionally appears on the night before (on the evening of December 5) the Feast of St. Nicholas, people dress up as Krampus (a half man & a half-goat) beast costumed creature catches the naughty children in Austria.

3. Polar bear plunge 

Taking a dip in cold water or many water events held on Christmas morning or next day on Boxing day in Brighton, England. In many European countries Polar bear plunge day is held on New Year’s Day, where people get in their bathing suits and take a nice dip in cold water.

4. Roller skates in Caracas, Venezuela

It’s a unique tradition in Venezuela people go to Church wearing roller skates, where roads are closed any vehicles are not allowed, people roller skate to church attend mass.

5. Lebkuchen (German cake)

Gingerbread house cake made with nuts, honey, sugar on top and moist, Süßigkeiten (sweets), served during the Christmas season and people love to have with tea, you will find in every bakeries, markets.

unique weird christmas traditions around the world

6. Yule goat (Gävle bocken), Sweden

In Sweden a giant 3-4 ton Yule goat is constructed with straw. People believe that the Yule goat to be an invisible spirit, who appears before Christmas. The Yule goat in Sweden is considered as a role of a gift giver.

7. Hide the brooms, Norway

In Norway on Christmas Eve a unique tradition is performed by household members, they hide all their broom sticks and mops. They believe that they can be stolen by witches to roam around the house and skies.

8. Advent Calendar

Advent means ‘Coming’, a period of four Sundays & weeks before Christmas, Christiasn use as the coming of Jesus into the world. In many Orthodox and Catholic Churches, Advent lasts for 40 days and starts from November 15th and is also called ‘Nativity Fast’. People mostly use Advent calendars made of paper or cards with little windows on it. And each window is opened on every day which has presents.

9. Pickle Ornaments

Hiding a pickle ornament in a Christmas tree is a unique tradition started originally in Germany and now performed in many countries. Many households perform this tradition and whoever children find this pickle ornament will receive a reward and good fortune for the next year.

10. Eating a fried caterpillar, South Africa

There is a weird tradition in South Africa of eating a delicacy of Sundried Emperor Moth Caterpillar especially served on Christmas. 

11. KFC feast, Japan

In Japan Christmas is not celebrated much but a unique tradition is performed during Christmas Eve. Where couples spend time together and have deep fried chicken going to KFC restaurants and have dinner with their loved ones.

12. Throw your shoes, Czech Republic

It’s an old unique tradition performed in Czech Republic, where single ladies can get the opportunity to get married in the coming year. It perform like standing in front of door, throw a shoe over the shoulder, if the toes facing door she will get married in a year.

13. 13 Yule lads, Iceland

13 Father Christmas, In Iceland the Yule lads are similar to Santa who come two weeks before Christmas and stay for festivities during the Christmas season. They are depicted like mischievous elves or like Father Christmas. For the presents children leave their shoes out of the house and hope Yule lads will fill them with presents.

14. Pudding for the elf, Denmark

During Christmas Eve, in Denmark people prepare a pudding or porridge and leave it for Nisse (a mischievous elf). And believe that if an elf doesn’t get his pudding, he will steal the presents of children left by Santa.

15. Spider web, Ukraine

Instead of ornaments, in Ukraine Christmas trees are decorated with artificial spider webs and cobwebs. Acc. to folklore, once a lady was not able to decorate their Christmas tree. The next day light of Christmas morning touched the web threads, they turned into silver and gold. And believe that seeing a spider on a Christmas tree is good luck.

16. Hanging stockings

A christmas stockings is empty socks hung aside by the fireplace, in many countries it is hung on St. Nicholas Day or in many countries on Christmas Eve, believing that it can be filled with toys, candies, and gifts when Santa arrives. In many countries children put shoes aside by the fireplace and believe that it will be filled with gifts by Santa.

17. Write a letter to Santa

It’s a unique tradition to write a letter to Santa, where children write a letter on a card and wrap it with colorful paper and put a star on and glorify those letters and send them to Santa. And these letters were sent to Santa’ address like in Lapland Finland, home of Santa.

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