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So THIS is Christmas.

Xmas traditions from across the globe.


How one chooses to pay homage to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t for us to judge.

So judge we won’t. But ponder, compare and snicker slightly - we probably will. Here are a few of the most “unusual” ways that Christmas gets celebrated around the globe:

In the early 70’s, KFC Japan rolled out a tremendously successful Christmas campaign that gave birth to a tradition that’s still in full swing. Nowadays, nothing says Happy Birthday Jesus in Japan like the finger lickin’ fun of a ten piece feed. Rumour has it you need to pre-order your Kentucky bird weeks ahead of Christmas day, and queues often head way out the store door. Don’t you just love advertising?

In Icelandic mythology, there isn’t one Santa Clause, there are (wait for it) … thirteen. Yes, 13. And each one goes by a different name. Names like “Doorway sniffer” for the Santa with the outlandishly big nose and “bowl-licker” for the Santa who hides under people’s beds waiting to steal unfinished food from the person above him. Just - wow.

“Sooroovachka” is supposedly a Bulgarian Christmas tradition in which the younger generation stroke the older generation with a stick, thinking happy thoughts and wishing them well for the year ahead. Everyone loves a nice tender pat, but you’d want to choose that stick pretty wisely.

Screw turkey. An Argentinian Christmas banquet boasts a roast peacock. In case you’ve forgotten, peacocks look like this and this and this and this.

If you and the fam find yourselves in Estonia one Christmas deciding to “get in the spirit of things”, it will probably involve the bonding experience of a hot and sweaty, flesh baring sauna. Let’s all just pray to God (it’s that time of year after all) that Grandfather Victor ties his towel on nice and tight.

On Christmas eve, Norwegians gather all the brooms in their homes and hide them from witches and spirits. In any other conversation, that might seem odd. But up against this list, we rate it slim to none on the scale of weird.

Ok, so this one doesn’t apply to the whole of the USA, but at one particular landfill near Cincinnati, Ohio, an interesting annual decoration ritual takes place. Workers at the landfill cover a 243 acre mound of garbage with 30,000 Christmas lights. Saves knocking down a tree?

This is one that should be taken global. During the silly season, many Venezuelans add some joy to their trek to church by ditching the car for a pair of roller-skates. Why? Well, why the hell not?!

Merry Christmas citizens of the world! Go forth and x-mas how you please.

(This article was written by Samantha Chalker from Saving For Cuba.)

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