Christmas Traditions From Around the World

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Christmas time is full of traditions! Whether you visit Santa at the mall, pick out your Christmas tree with cups of hot cocoa, build gingerbread houses, drive the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights or go to church with your family, there are plenty of Christmas traditions that we all know and love. As normal as our traditions seem, there are plenty of traditions out there that may catch you by surprise. Below are 5 different Christmas tradition that are as different and bizarre as they are to read about.

Yule Lads – Iceland

In the 13 days before Christmas, 13 different trolls come out to reward those who’ve been good and punish those who’ve been bad.  Similar to a tradition in Germany, children put their best pair of shoes by their window. In the middle of the night a Yule Lad will come and leave gifts for those who’ve behaved and rotten potatoes for those who haven’t.

Roller Blading – Venezuela

Would you ever think roller blading and Christmas go together? Most would say no. In a tradition that no one completely understands, except for the residents of Caracas, Venezuela, the city streets are shut down so people can roller blade to church on Christmas Eve.

Hidden Brooms – Norway

Hiding your… brooms? Yes, that is a Norwegian tradition that dates back centuries ago but is still around today. Way back when witches and evil spirits were thought to have existed, Norwegians believed they would come out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. Brooms would be hidden in the most secluded part of the house and is still even done to this day.

Kentucky Fried Dinner – Japan

Japan has always looked at Christmas as a novelty and hasn’t ever really been a big deal. There are a few basic traditions like gift giving and putting up Christmas lights but that’s about it. However, a new tradition has evolved and it’s hard to make sense of it – a Christmas dinner feast of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken has adapted specific menus in Japan and each year the “tradition” seems to grow and grow.

Krampus – Austria

In Austria, the children who’ve been on good behavior receive gifts from St. Nicholas. On the other hand, those who’ve been naughty receive a visit from Krampus, St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice. Krampus is a moster-like creature that roams the streets in Austria giving frights to small children who’ve been naughty. In reality, as is tradition, during the first week of December, young men dress as Krampus and frighten children with clattering chains and bells.