Whatever part of the world you’re in, you’ve probably got some Christmas traditions that seem perfectly normal to you but might be a little bit weird to someone else.
Here’s some of our favourites.
The ultimate Bad Santa, Krampus is the Christmas spirit that delivers the punishment to children that have been naughty. Krampus is a tradition that is most enthusiastically celebrated in Austria, with the evening of 5th December being peak Krampus time
Celebrated in the Catalonia region of Spain, Tió de Nadal is a yuletide log that poops candy. True story. Children have to care for the log beneath a blanket, then beat it with a stick to release the candy, and then the log is burnt on the fire.
Originally thought to have originated in Germany, having a dill pickle Christmas ornament is a tradition in many families. It’s generally hidden in the tree, and the first child to spot it gets a prize.
In Japan, everyone eats fried chicken for Christmas. Not just any fried chicken – it’s got to be take-away, and it’s got to be from KFC. Christmas has only been enthusiastically embraced in Japan in recent years, and a clever marketing campaign from KFC has forever associated the brand with the celebration of Christmas.
An old Welsh tradition is Mari Lwyd – the grey mare. A phantom horse is constructed using a stick, a sheet, and the skull of a horse. When the horse arrives at your door there’s a special song to be sung as you welcome the horse inside.
A tradition from Ukraine is the use of spider webs to decorate the Christmas tree. The tradition is traced back to a folk-tale about a family too poor to decorate their house for Christmas and so the spiders created a dazzling display for them.