It’s (almost) Chriiiiiiistmas (in a Noddy Holder voice)!
Yes, the festive season is coming thick and fast, and whether you like it or not, it’s time to dust off those decorations, grab all of those twinkly sundries and start prepping for the big day.
If you’re still not feeling in the festive spirit and are in serious need a Christmas boost, perhaps these weird Christmas traditions from around the world will do the trick…
In Austria, not only is there a Santa that delivers Christmas gifts with merriment, but there’s also Krampus – the festive devil who, well, basically takes gifts and makes people cry. What a lovely fellow.
The Catalonians love a nativity play, but there’s is a little bit different, to say the least. The Catalan nativity includes a cameo from the Cagner – a small figure of a defecating man. True story.
Come Christmas Eve, the Norwegians hide away all of their brooms in fear that they’ll be stolen by witches or evil festive spirits.
As a direct result of a nationwide advertising campaign back in 1974, it’s now a tradition to eat a KFC in Japan on Xmas Eve.
On the night before Christmas, instead of getting plastered down the local boozer, the Estonians max it out by enjoying a lovely festive sauna together, releasing toxins before the big day rather than topping them up.
Rather than rocking around the Christmas tree with on 25th December, the Ethiopians celebrate the big day on 7th January. On this alternative Xmas Day, everyone wears white clothes and the men play a ball game called Ganna.
Unlike those in Norway, in Guatemala, people sweep out their sweep out their houses before Xmas. Each neighbourhood piles up its collective dirt which is followed by the topping of an effigy of the devil, which they then burn baby burn.
According to Greek legend, the 12 Days of Christmas is disrupted by the Kallikantzaroi, a naughty race of goblins that wreak havoc on everything that stands in their path.
Here it’s tradition for unmarried women to stand by their respective doors and lob a shoe over their shoulders. If the toe points at the door when it lands it means marriage within the next year, apparently.
You may or not know this, but here in Blighty, it’s tradition to stir the Christmas pudding in a clockwise direction and make a wish before putting it in the oven to bake. Try it this year – you might end up winning the lottery!
It’s plain to see just how diverse Christmas traditions from around the world are, but despite the quirks, every Xmas celebrating country has one thing in common – a desire to spend time with friends, family and loved ones – and that’s a beautiful thing.
Got relatives coming round for the big day and need to make space? Check out our space saving hacks. Need inspiration on gifts for your little ones? Have a browse through our top 10 Xmas toys.