Weird Christmas Celebrations from Around the World

Weird Christmas Celebrations from Around the World

Japan - Kentucky Fried Christmas

For the Japanese, traditional Christmas dinner is Kentucky Fried Chicken. It began 40 years ago, when the fast food chain successfully convinced customers with an advertising campaign that fried chicken is the traditional American feast. In the lead up to Christmas, a status of Colonel Sanders dressed up as Santa is placed out the door and chicken is served in special holiday packaging. It is so popular and well-marketed that reservations have to be made long in advance.

Greenland - Eating rotten Auk

In Greenland, traditional Christmas dinner is Kiviak. Kiviak is the raw flesh of an auk (a bird) that has been wrapped in sealskin and buried under a stone for several months until it has achieved an advanced stage of decomposition. Apparently, it smells like old blue cheese and taste very pungent.

Ukraine - Spiders in your Christmas Tree

In Ukraine, Christmas tree decorations include a fake spider and web. The spider and web are hidden in the tree and the first child to find it on Christmas morning will receive good luck for next year. The story is derived from an old tale where a poor widowed mother could not afford decorations for her family's Christmas tree. One Christmas morning she awoke to find a spider had beautifully decorated the tree with its web, making for a very happy Christmas.

Slovakia - Food on the Ceiling

In Slovakia, families enjoy throwing their food before they eat it. At the start of Christmas Eve dinner, the head of the family takes a spoonful of Loksa, a traditional Christmas dish, and throws it up on the ceiling. The more of the Loksa that sticks to the ceiling, the better the family's crop will be the following year.

Great Britain - Stirring the Pudding

Pudding is a very important Christmas tradition of Great Britain. If you make the pudding right, it can bring you luck as well. Legend has it that if you mix your pudding in a clockwise direction and make a wish, the wish will come true.

Iraq - Wish upon a Bonfire

To celebrate Christmas in Iraq, children read the nativity story while family members hold lighted candles. When the story is finished, the family starts a bonfire. After the fire has dwindled, everyone jumps over it three times and makes a wish.

German - The Christmas Pickle

The story goes that when German families decorate the Christmas tree, the last ornament to be hung is the Christmas pickle. It's a green blown glass ornament that has been passed down through generations. Parents hide it in a hard-to-see spot and the first child who finds the pickle on Christmas morning not only gets an extra gift but also good luck for next year.

Belgium - Naughty and Nice Santa Clause

Belgium boasts not one, but two Santa Clauses, St. Nicholas and Pere Noel. St. Nicholas is the "bad cop" of the duo, and is all about reconnaissance. On Dec 4, he melts into the Belgian shadows to thoroughly investigate the backgrounds of unsuspecting children with late night stakeouts. By Dec 6, St. Nicholas has all the dirt, which he passes along to Pere Noel in time for Christmas. The nice kids get presents, the naughty get twigs.

Venezuela - Skating to Worship

In Caracas, Venezuela, people travel to their place of worship on roller skates. Children go to bed the night before with a piece of string tied to their big toe and other end out the window. As morning breaks, the streets are blocked off and roller skaters tug all the strings as the sky fly.

America (New York) - Santacon

To celebrate the holiday season in America, New Yorkers get together dressed head-to-toe as Christmas characters. The city is filled with reds and greens, as Santas and Elves spread holiday cheer for what is known as Santacon. Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention.

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