Christmas is a religious and cultural festival celebrated in many different parts of the world on 25 December. The celebratory customs in various countries are a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes.
Throughout history Christmas has been given different names, from the Anglo-Saxon feast “Midwinter” to the 14th century “Noel”.
Now let’s take a look at some different Christmas traditions and customs.
1. Krampus – Austria
In Austria children don’t only worry about not receiving presents if they’re naughty but they also have to think about Krampus. With pre-Christian origins, Krampus is a horned beast with a long, pointed tongue that snatches misbehaved children in his wicker basket. This terrifying event takes place on 5 December each year.
2. The pooping log – Catalonia, Spain
Not as scary as Krampus but definitely stranger, Catalonia is home to one of the weirdest Christmas traditions on this list. A small stick, complete with a smiley face, known as “caga tio” is placed on the dining table and “fed” nuts and sweets everyday until Christmas Eve when it’s beaten with sticks to poop out presents.
3. The Yule Lads – Iceland
This Icelandic tradition focuses on 13 mischievous trolls named Sheep-Cote Clod, Gully Gawk, Stubby, Spoon-Licker, Pot-Scraper, Bowl-Licker, Door-Slammer, Skyr-Gobbler, Sausage-Sweeper, Window-Peeper, Doorway-Sniffer, Meat-Hook, and Candle-Stealer, who roam the country and take turns visiting children who leave their shoes in their bedroom window giving presents to the good ones and rotting potatoes for the bad ones.
4. Kentucky Fried Christmas – Japan
In the 1970s, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) started an extremely successful marketing campaign in Japan. Although Christmas isn’t a big deal in Japan the purveyors of fried chicken managed to create a new tradition in Japan – sharing KFC with your family on 25 December!