Christmas Traditions You Probably Didn’t Know
Oh Christmas… What if Santa was a witch or Christmas looked more like Halloween. From pooping elves and evil cats, to city wide MMA matches and shoes that tell the future, here are some strange Christmas creatures, superstitions and traditions around the world you probably never heard of.
13 Lighting It All Up!
After thanksgiving, the Christmas festivities begin with getting a pine tree, some shiny ornaments and lights to wrap the tree and the whole house if you would like. But, who came up with the idea of lights? Original candles where placed on the Christmas tree to war of evil, and the superstitious romans where the first to begin the tradition that evolved to little metal pieces to intensify the light and terrify the demons. As you can see it has gone way up hill with the lights now being used to wrap entire buildings and with light shows in different countries like in Medellin, Colombia, Paris and London. Christmas light parades and clever displays are a far more elaborate version of the romans original candles on a tree.
12 Where The Shoe Drops
Shoes, us women love them, but did you know that giving shoes could be bad luck? And on Christmas none the less? If you give shoes to someone as a gift, An English tradition says, they’ll walk away from YOU… so, chose your gifts carefully… and If you wanna get rid of someone…?
11 Born To Be Naughty Or Nice
Would you like to be born on Christmas? Depending on where you live, it could be good… or could be bad. It really does depend on where you were born. A superstition In SE Europe says, if you are born on Christmas you may become a misbehaving wondering goblin, called a Kallikantzaroi. And in Poland you would become a werewolf. In other European countries it’s a good thing; there, legends say you’d be protected from spirits, drowning or being hung… and in America our biggest worry was getting double gifted if we were born to close to Christmas.
10 Christmas “To Go”!
What’s your family’s traditional Christmas meal? Typically, there will be ham or a turkey, maybe some mash potatoes and gravy and hopefully a pumpkin pie… But Japan has its own idea of a traditional Christmas meal and it takes place at a fast food restaurant. Thanks to the best American fast food marketing campaign ever, from 40 years ago to this day. It’s a custom in Japan to have KFC for a traditional Christmas meal. Its so popular that your order must be placed 2 months in advance! If you’re in Japan for Christmas, don’t expect turkey or… sushi.
9 A Surprise Inside
Here’s a fun British tradition to incorporate at your Christmas party. You will need a nice recipe for pudding but just use any desert that could hide a thimble or a button, a ring and a coin, all washed of course… whomever gets served the coin will have wealth for the new year, the button or thimble, stay single and I am sure then, you can figure the ring out…
8 Creatures Of The Night
Werewolves, vampires, zombies, there are lots of creatures we’ve come to fear, but the Christmas creatures are scarier that all of those! The Krampus, a horned creature that looks like a goat and a demon mashed together is the companion of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, IN Austria, while children who behave get presents from Santa, Those who don’t… well get chased by the Krumpus, and he looks very scary!… in another tale, even if you’re an animal lover like me, you might want to run away from the Yule Cat of Iceland. And if you hate the ugly sweaters from your last-minute shopping family members, they may have just saved your life. It’s said that the Yule Cat hunts those who haven’t receive new clothing before Christmas. But not all myths involve mischievous creatures. In Italy, a friendly witch called Befana delivers the gifts. So, Christmas isn’t all presents, candy and elves. now you know, there is a dark side too.
7 Mixing up Holidays
On Halloween we grab our candy bag and head out into the night to go trick or treating. What would a hybrid between a Halloween and Christmas look like? In Latvia they get some walking exercise on Christmas too. During “Ziemassvētki” a group of masked people called “Mummers” dressed up in crazy costumes and go house to house offering a blessing in exchange for a treat! so if you love Halloween, do Christmas in Latvia!
6 To Santa Clause, North Pole… or Indiana?
When you were a kid did you ever stay up as late as you could, waiting for Santa to deliver your presents? If you wanted to write Santa a letter to make sure you got everything you wanted, where would you mail it to? well in Canada, you send it to Santa clause, North pole, Canada, ohohoh, make sure you include that… and if in the US, you send it to Santa Clause, North Pole Alaska or Indiana… either way, you will receive a reply from Santa’s Elves! Did any of you ever catch Santa? Tell us the story!
5 Santa’s Replacement
We know different countries around the world have different traditions. And when it comes to Christmas and presents, Santa is not the only one making special deliveries, and its not even on the same day! Other than your typical morning on Dec. 25th. In some Latin countries, Baby Jesus brings gifts which are opened later after dinner on Dec 24th. In Italy a good witch named Befana delivers presents on Jan 5th. The 3 wise men also carry them in Mexico and other Latin countries but on January 6th .
4 Arms Down!
If the KFC marketing campaign for Japan was impressive, then you will love Colombia’s way of disarming one of the oldest guerrilla organizations in the country the FARC, in the spirit of Christmas. In 2010 the trees in the jungles of Colombia where decorated with Christmas lights and banners asking the guerrillas to surrender and come back home. One of the banners read “if Christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home, demobilize. At Christmas everything is possible". It was so successful that over 300 guerrillas reenter society. The marketing campaign was so effective, it won an advertising award!
3 Christmas MMA
Have you ever wanted to get back at somebody? What if you could only get your payback on Christmas and you have to wear a funny custom to do it? A town in Peru came up with a fun way to settle scores that have built up through the year. The celebration of Takanakuy which means “when the blood is boiling.” It’s a fist fight to settle scores allowing the towns people of Santo Tomas to start the new year with a clean slate. The contestants dress up in masks and crazy customs with music and merriment through the town… Very peaceful town otherwise. A fun way to clean the slate and start the new year off right.
2 Monster Repellent
Do you go for walks at night or rather watch a movie or a TV show? If you were in Greece, Bulgaria or Serbia you may not have a choice… Since winter have longer nights, that also means there is more time for evil spirits and mischievous creatures to wonder. So, in order to protect yourself from them, you must place a colander in your porch so the Kallikantzaroi, compulsive little goblins they are will count the holes until morning arrives… safe for one more day! But that’s not all, in order to keep witches, spirits and other undesirable forces, winter greenery aka the Christmas tree or reef needs to be in or around the house. Keeping the undesirables only lasts for few days though, but it can turn on you as well if you don’t do things right. Your Christmas decorations must be put away before the end of the 12th day of Christmas or bad luck and goblins will come to your house. So, the best repellent for the dark forces after some days becomes the open door for them too... go figure…
1 Future Husband… Or Not
We have been exploring some bizarre creatures and traditions and here is one more... If you are an unmarried woman and would like to know about your future, this one is for you. All you need is a pair of shoes... not given as a gift!… on Christmas, grab a shoe and throw it over your shoulder towards a door. If the shoe lands with the toes pointing at the door, start planning your dream wedding! But if it points towards you… better luck next year. Now, would you want to marry somebody whose answer was based on a superstition?
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