Strange Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Strange Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Christmas traditions in my family are pretty straightforward....and boring when compared to what’s going on in the rest of the world! Here's a list with links, just in case you'd like to adopt one or two or more.


In Norway, they hide brooms on Christmas Eve to ward off witches looking to take them for a spin. (Read more about the tradition here.)

In some areas of Italy, they forego the Christmas tree and decorate a small wooden pyramid, called the ceppo or tree of light, instead. (Image courtesy of italiansrus.)

Ukrainian Christmas trees are often decorated with a fake spider and web. Whoever finds the web on Christmas morning is bestowed with good luck. (Ornament available at Bronners.)

In Great Britain, if you make a wish while mixing the ingredients of your Christmas pudding in a clockwise direction, the wish will come true. Also,every member of the family should take a turn stirring and wish-making. Here's a recipe for a Christmas pudding.

In early England, a traditional Christmas dinner included the head of a pig prepared with mustard. (Here's a recipe. Love the 'remove any hair' note. *Yurp*)

In the Czech Republic, single women go out on Christmas Eve day and toss shoes. With their backs to the door, they throw one of their shoes over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with the heel facing the door, she’ll find herself single for another year. If the shoe lands with the toe facing the door, it means she should start making wedding plans. (Here’s a bunch more traditions courtesy of My Czech Republic.)

And speaking of tossing, in Slovakia and Ukraine, Christmas celebrants toss food. At the start of Christmas Eve dinner, the head of the family takes a spoonful of Loksa and throws it toward the ceiling. The more of the Loksa that sticks to the ceiling, the better the crops will be the following year. (Here's a recipe for Loska.)

Although it started as an act of vandalism, the burning of the goat has now become a tradition in the Swedish town of Gavle. The giant goat is made of straw and it’s erected at the beginning of the holiday season. The trick is to keep vandals from setting it aflame before Christmas. Since 1966 the goat has survived until Christmas day 10 times. (Read more about the tradition here.)

And finally, in Caracas, Venezuela, people roller-skate to mass on Christmas Eve morning. With the streets closed to cars, people roll along blowing off fireworks and proclaiming ‘Jesus is born!’ (Read more about it and other Venezuelan Christmas traditions here.)

Christmas around the world pic courtesy of allthingschristmas.com.



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