Countries around the world celebrate Christmas in different ways. While you are sitting under a pine tree and drinking hot cocoa, someone else is burning a giant goat. Let’s find out 5 weirdest Christmas traditions in the world that you have never heard of.
Burning a giant goat
On the first Sunday in December, people in Gävle, Sweden always place a giant straw goat on the town’s main square. It stands there proudly, bringing joy to everyone on cold winter days. However, vandals frequently managed to set it on fire.
The Swedes call the Christmas goat “Julbocken”. It was first made in 1966. However, it burns up almost every year during the festive season. The story is so strange that every year Swedes follow the news to see if Julbocken can make it through Christmas or not.
The authorities wanted to prevent people from burning the straw goat. Therefore, they tried everything they could. They installed CCTV and impregnated the straw with fireproof materials. In 2015, they had a brief success because the goat survived until Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, it still mysteriously burned down two days later.
You did not hear wrong. Eating KFC is really a Japanese tradition at Christmas.
It all started in the 1970s. A lot of foreign tourists visit Japan during Christmas. However, turkeys were rare at that time in the land of the rising sun. So, they eat KFC chicken as an alternative to traditional turkey. With a little help from advertising, this trend has strongly influenced locals.
Currently, sales of KFC in Japan at Christmas time are 5 times higher than at other times of the year. On this holiday, KFC stores in Japan are packed with customers. The queues are so large that sometimes they have to wait for hours to be served. The Japanese even order fried chicken months in advance for year-end parties.
Making odd statues
In Catalunya, Spain, “el caganers” appear in abundance in the weeks leading up to Christmas. They are ceramic models with an image of a Catalan farmer defecating. They look quite odd and funny.
No one is really sure where this quirky tradition originated. But it can be related to fertilizing. Spanish farmers believe that “el caganer” brings bountiful crops and good luck. So, these quirky patterns have been part of Christmas celebrations for centuries.
Norwegians have a tradition of hiding their brooms on Christmas Eve. You might think that they just want to avoid the holiday cleaning. Well, it might be right.
Moreover, Norwegians also believe in an ancient legend. It is said that, if their brooms are left unattended overnight, evil witches will steal them. Then, the witch will ride the broom and wreak havoc on Christmas. It’s terrible, isn’t it?
Getting gifts from Dwarfs
Children in many countries around the world often wait for Santa Claus. However, kids growing up in Iceland can expect a visit from 13 separate Yule Lads in the days leading up to Christmas. They will leave the beautiful gift in a shoe at the end of the bed. Besides, not all Yule Lads are friendly. So the naughty kids will get a spoiled potato instead of the present.
Here are 5 weirdest Christmas traditions in the world. If you want to celebrate Christmas in a unique way, visit these countries around Christmas. And click here if you want to read about traditional Christmas foods of different countries.