These weird Christmas traditions from some parts of the world will leave you speechless
Here are some of the weird Christmas traditions we found around the world.
Although the idea and meaning behind the celebration may be the same, the way it is celebrated in different countries varies drastically. If you are considering heading abroad for the holidays this year you may want to make sure you do some serious research into the country’s customs to avoid being completely clueless on arrival.
In celebration of these festive season, we’ve rounded up five of the weirdest Christmas traditions around the world. Have a look!
1. Krampus (Bad Santa) from Austria
When children expect Santa to be good to them all through the Yuletide season, Austria has a counterpart as 'Krampus'. 'Krampus', the evil accomplice of St Nicholas, is said to wander the streets in search of badly-behaved children. During the month of December, you can expect to see terrifying masked figures out and about scaring kids and adults alike with ghastly pranks. 'Krampus' visits homes on December 5, for the Feast of St. Nicholas.
2. Yule cat from Iceland
One of the weirdest festive traditions we've heard of comes from Iceland, where a giant cat is said to roam the snowy countryside at Christmas time. The Cat is called 'Jólakötturinn'. Dating back to the 19th century, this vicious monster will eat you on Christmas Eve if you don’t have new clothes to wear. Ever wonder why you always buy a new outfit for the holidays? The Yule Cat is responsible for this tradition. Today it is customary for everyone in Iceland to get new clothing for Christmas to avoid an unsavoury demise.
3. Fried Caterpillars from South Africa
When you think of Christmas food, jollof rice and chicken are often high on the list. In South Africa, however, it's the creepy crawlies that local children look forward to. Fried caterpillars on Christmas may seem like one of the weirdest Christmas traditions around the world, but these caterpillars aren't just the run-of-the-mill variety you find in the garden. The Pine Tree Emperor Moth, or Christmas caterpillar, is covered in very festive hues. It said to give those who eat it a little extra luck in the coming year.
4. Flying witches from Norway
According to Norwegian folklore, Christmas Eve is the day when mischievous spirits and witches take to the skies for mischief and general tomfoolery. On Christmas Eve, all broomsticks are hidden out of sight. As witches often use brooms as their preferred mode of transportation.
5. Cobweb Christmas from Ukraine
Spiders may be associated with Halloween in America, but in Ukraine, finding one of these creepy bugs in your Christmas tree is considered good luck. The tradition goes back to a folktale about a poor widow who could not afford to decorate a tree for her children. Legend has it that spiders in the house took pity on the family's plight, and spun beautiful webs all over the tree, which the children awoke to find on Christmas morning. Today, spiders and cobwebs are popular tree ornaments in Ukraine.
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