5 #CrazyChristmas Traditions From Around The World!
A friendly witch named ‘Befana’ is more popular than Santa in this country. Do you know which destination we’re talking about? Read on to learn more about 5 #CrazyChristmas traditions and myths from around the world!
1. Let The Roller Skating Begin!
And the answer is Venezuela! Yes, the capital of this Hispanic country Caracas is known to celebrate Christmas a little bit differently. Taking a car for Christmas mass? Normal! Walking? Normal! But Roller Skating? That’s something you ought to try! To support this unconventional way of commute, vehicular access to the city is blocked off in many areas for 9 days, from 16th to 24th December. The early morning masses are called Misas de Aguinaldo, and the entire town wakes up to roller skate their way to the church! As a part of the tradition, before bedtime, children tie one end of a piece of string to their big toe, and hang the other out the window for the roller skaters to give a tug. And just in case you forget to set an alarms, the firecrackers and bells are loud enough to wake up even the heaviest of sleepers!
2. KFC For Christmas? Yes, Please!
Any guesses? It’s Japan! Wait, what? Even though Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, this fried chicken tradition has been going on since 1974! Kentucky Fried Chicken started a unique “Christmas Chicken” campaign after eavesdropping on a conversation of a group of foreigners. They spoke about landing at KFC as it was impossible to find turkey in Japan. Fast forward to 2015, families order ‘finger lickin good’ chicken as early as October! The take-away meal includes everything from whole roasted chickens to party barrels. Well done, KFC!
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3. Befana > Santa Calus
It’s Christmas eve, you hear mild footsteps and floorboards creak, you run expecting to see Santa, but instead, an old lady with a broom stick and a black shawl stands before you. Sounds like a horror story? Not for the kids in Italy! They actually look forward to this friendly witch, Befana who visits them on 6th January (Epiphany Eve ), and fills their stockings with candies and presents or coal, depending on their behaviour throughout the year. If she’s feeling generous, she may even sweep your floors, aka sweep away some of your problems! The most popular legend states that Befana still flies around on the hunt for Baby Jesus, after she declined the Three Kings’ offer to join them on their journey. This was of course, in exchange for her generous hospitality. “The Befana comes by night, With her shoes all tattered and torn, She comes dressed in the Roman way, Long live the Befana!” states a very famous Italian poem.
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4. With Love, From North Pole
A letter from Santa? Impossible! Well, Canada proves you wrong with a tradition wherein every kid who writes to Santa receives a letter from the Big Guy himself, all the way from North Pole. Actually, it’s just thousands of volunteers who work round the clock at the Canada Post, on behalf of Santa of course. Parents just have to make sure to deliver the letter before December 16 with a proper return address, and viola, your kid will receive a reply! The most perfect Christmas moment, if you ask us…
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5. The Tale Of Yule Cat
Iceland! The people of Iceland love their myths, and pride themselves for a hard-earned bread. What better occasion than Christmas to combine them both? The legend of Yule Cat is enough to scare even the bravest! It is believed that the scary beast preys on children who don’t receive new clothes before Christmas. The concept of receiving new clothes in Iceland is related to working. So, if you haven’t worked hard enough throughout the year, you won’t receive new clothes and will fall prey to the mystical beast. In the words, Yule Cat looks for the lazy kids in old clothes. Slightly creepy, but interesting nonetheless!
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With this we sign off, and wish all our readers Merry Christmas, and a fun-filled countdown to 2016! Happy Holidays!
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**Originally published in December 2015