11 Unusual Christmas Traditions From Around the World

Celebrating Christmas varies worldwide, each uniquely charming and reflective of diverse history, culture, and folklore. From warm to weird, let's explore global traditions.

Kentucky Fried Christmas (Japan)

In Japan, Christmas means KFC. A 70s campaign made having a “Christmas Chicken” meal from KFC a tradition, with orders placed months ahead.

The Christmas Pickle (Germany)

In Germany, a pickle ornament is hidden in the Christmas tree. The first child to find it gets a gift or good luck for the year. The tradition's origin is debated.

Spider Webs as Decorations (Ukraine)

In Ukraine, Christmas trees often feature spider web decorations, symbolizing good luck and prosperity, inspired by a local legend of a poor widow's tree magically transformed by spiders.

The Yule Cat (Iceland)

In Iceland, the Yule Cat prowls at Christmas, punishing people without new clothes by eating them. This tradition urged farmers to finish wool work before Christmas.

Roller-Skating to Mass (Venezuela)

In Caracas, a unique Christmas tradition sees residents on roller skates for an early Mass. The streets close for this colorful, unity-focused display which brings magic to the holiday season.

Krampus Night (Austria)

On Dec 5th, Austria celebrates Krampus Night, a unique tradition featuring a devilish creature from folklore, blending fright and festive fun.

Gävle Goat (Sweden)

Each year in Gävle, Sweden, a huge straw goat is built for Christmas. It's a tradition for pranksters to try and burn it before Christmas. The record stands at 37 successful attempts out of 50 years.

The Radish Festival (Mexico)

In Oaxaca, Mexico, a unique Christmas tradition is carving radish sculptures. This festival attracts many visitors who admire the creativity, adding festive fun to the season.

The Christmas Log (Catalonia, Spain)

In Catalonia, Spain, families strike the Christmas log, “Tio de Nadal”, while singing songs for good luck and prosperity in the new year.

The Upside-Down Christmas Tree (Southern Poland)

In southern Poland, hanging the Christmas tree upside down is a tradition dating back to the 12th century as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

The Giant Lantern Festival (Philippines)

San Fernando, Philippines hosts a Giant Lantern Festival every Christmas. Eleven villages compete to create the biggest, most elaborate lanterns which are displayed on Christmas Eve.

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