10 of the weirdest Christmas traditions around the world and that includes pooping logs

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The holiday season is everywhere, but depending on where in the world you live there are some quirky traditions.

For many, the holidays are an opportunity to hang out with family and friends, relax by an open fire – or on the beach – depending on how hot the climate is in December, and exchange gifts.

There are some lesser-known Christmas traditions around the world, however, and some of them are likely not what you expect.

Austria

Children who were naughty instead of nice can expect one Visit from Krampus.

As if the threat of missing out on presents wasn’t bad enough, Krampus is a horned, hairy beast who snaps naughty children into its wicker basket. He serves as Santa’s creepy enforcer.

On December 5th, it is a tradition for dozens of men to dress as that. Half-goat demon and go through the streets with sticks to scare children.

Germany

On a similar topic and to impress Krampus, children in Germany leave your shoes outside on the night of 5.12.

If they were good, their shoes will be full of gifts and sweets, but if they were bad, Krampus will fill their shoes with branches and coal.

Slovenia

On December 5th at 5 p.m., Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana hosts a procession of St. Nicholas, the first of three Christmas traditions in the country.

Known as Miklavž in Slovenia, tradition says that he gives sweets, fruits and biscuits to children who have done good service throughout the year. For children who have been bad, “the trotters” come and frighten them.

In Slovenian homes, children put a shoe or stocking in front of their bedroom and wake up to see what is left inside. It is often filled with small gifts rather than lavish or luxurious items.

Mexico

The city is in the days before Christmas Oaxaca celebrates the night of the radishes.

It’s a vegetable carving competition and the locals get surprisingly competitive and creative, building everything from fantasy demons to Christmas cribs.

People spend year growing their radishes and they are pumped with special chemicals to make sure they get huge. However, they can only be seen a few hours before the vegetables begin to wither.

Ukraine

Instead of lights hanging on the outside of houses Ukrainians build cobwebs.

The story behind this tradition relates to a widow who had very little money and her children. They grew a Christmas tree out of a pine cone but couldn’t afford a decoration, and when they woke up one morning the tree was covered with cobwebs that glistened gold and silver in the sunlight.

Italy

ONE Wine-drinking witch celebrates many Christmass with Italians and it happens 12 days after Santa’s visit on January 5th.

Families skip a glass of wine and sausages for “La Befana”, which slides down the chimney on her broom.

The tradition goes back to an old folk tale in which the lady declined an invitation from the Three Wise Men to witness the birth of Christ. So upset that she missed it, she spends every Christmas flying around looking for Baby Jesus, giving presents to good children and money to naughty ones.

Japan

A hugely successful KFC advertising campaign in the 1970s resulted in many Japanese families eating fried chicken on Christmas Day.


Japanese KFC Christmas Commercial

www.youtube.com

It has become so popular that restaurant reservations are made months in advance.

Wales

In Wales, some residents are moving undead horse in their villages.

They put a white sheet over a policeman with a horse skull attached to the top and then knock on the residents’ doors, who sing to them. Tradition has it that residents should sing in return before giving away food or drinks (similar to trick or treating).

Iceland

Thirteen mischievous trolls roam Iceland in the two weeks before Christmas.

They all have their own unique personality, including doorway sniffers, spoon lickers, sausage swipers, candle stealers, curd gobblers and the ominously named window peeper.

Children who were good this year get presents and naughty children get rotting potatoes.

Catalonia

Catalan brand two poop-based Christmas traditions.

The first is called “caganar”, which translates as “the pooper” – it is a figure of a farmer who does not wear pants and secretly lays a cable in cribs.

The second is called “pooping wood” or “caga tió” in its native language, which is a small stick with a smiley face that sits on the dining table (see the illustration at the top of this article). Every day it is fed and kept warm with a blanket and on Christmas Eve it “poops” presents for children.

This is how it actually works, with children leaving the room to pray for gifts, while residents put gifts under the covers.


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