Christmas is one of the most awaited festivals in the world. But just like every part of this planet is not the same, traditions also vary. This article is to learn interesting but bizarre customs on Christmas. We all know the regular Christmas celebrations like the Christmass tree to the gingerbread house. But in some places in the world people skate to church while some take a trip to a sauna on Christmas Eve.
1. Estonia: This Country to the West of Russia has followed the custom of a nice steamed bath before the Christmas Eve service for a long time. Once the families have decorated and readied the house, they take a sauna bath before attending Mass at their Church. This means sauna owners in Estonia have the best Christmas.
2. Japan: The Christian population in Japan is less than 5% of their total population. Before 1970, there was no national celebration or customs followed by the people of Japan. The first KFC opened in Japan in 1970 and the then Manager Takeshi Okawara came up with an everlasting advertising campaign. Okawara planned to sell a party barrel inspired by a turkey dinner but with chicken. It used the tagline “At Christmas, you eat chicken.” Since the people had no prior traditions, KFC automatically became one. For years now, people line up outside KFC outlets on Christmas eve for a finger licking good meal.
3. Caracas, Venezuela: The locals living in the capital of Venezuela have the merriest tradition for Christmas. It is customary for all locals to strap on roller skates and roll their way to church. The tradition is massive and the roads are blocked for cars from 8:00 A.M., to allow the tradition to follow through smoothly.
4. Catalonia: The people of Catalonia have the oddest tradition for Christmas that involves a defecating log. Yes, you heard me right ‘Tió de Nadal’ translates to Christmas log. The Catalans (people of Catalonia) buy this pooping log and keep it at the dinner table at home. The log is bundled up in blankets and ‘feed’ a little food every night. On Christmas, the children beat the log till it ‘defecates’ candies and nuts. The family fills the log with candies and nuts. They make the children believe the log will defecate sweets only for the good children.
5. Austria: The Austrians took Santa’s good and bad list very seriously. Unlike other stories of St. Nicolas, Austria talks of one with Krampus. Krampus isSanta’s evil sidekick depicted as a half goat, half demon with large horns, wild eyes, a red tongue, black fur and cloven hooves. Krampus is known for punishing all the bad children during Christmas. The streets of Austria are filled with men dressed up like Krampus putting on a show for the citizens.
These are the most bizarre traditions followed by people across the country. A few special mentions go to Iceland, Ukraine and Poland. In Iceland, a legend talks about a huge cat that comes during Christmas and eats those who have not received new clothes for the festival. The people of Ukraine feel bobbles are to clique and instead decorate their Christmas trees with cobwebs. In Poland, the Christmas dinner starts only when the five stars are visible in the night sky.