Every family from across the globe has their own unique traditions around the holidays. As a result, what may seem normal to one person might be utterly bizarre to the next. To celebrate the world’s wonderful diversity, we’ve come up with a selection of some of the most mind-boggling holiday traditions. Who knows what the future may bring, but if you become a winner with LottoSpring, you could be taking part in one of these traditions next year!
If you end up in Venezuela for Christmas, don’t forget to take your roller skates with you. Why? Well at Caracas Christmas Mass, residents only journey on roller skates!
In the States meanwhile, you can take part in The Running of the Santas event, where people dress up as Saint Nicholas and take part in a large bar crawl.
You might find yourself stepping into large piles of dirt in Guatemala, as the locals always sweep out their homes before Christmas. The theory is that this helps to rid their property of any bad spirits. Each neighbourhood then combines their piles to create a large mound of dirt. They then place an effigy of the devil on top and burn it in an annual ritual event.
Make sure you wear a hard hat if you’re over in Southern Italy during Christmas – it’s tradition to throw away any unwanted items from an upstairs window. The act is to symbolise letting go of any unhappiness in preparation for the future.
It’s quite the opposite in Norway, where cleaning is strictly a no-no on Christmas Eve. All brooms are safely hidden away in case they are stolen by witches and evil spirits.
Even the Food is Different
There are also some peculiar traditions with food in different countries.
For example, the festive South African delicacy of deep-fried caterpillars doesn’t exactly excite the tastebuds in the same way as a roast turkey.
In Sweden, a peeled almond is hidden in the traditional Scandinavian dessert of rice pudding. The person who finds it will supposedly be married within a year.
Another tradition associated with pudding is found in Slovakia. The most senior man of the house takes a spoonful of “loksa” pudding and throws it at the ceiling. Traditionally, the more that sticks, the richer the man’s crops will be for the forthcoming year. Let’s just hope they don’t leave it to dry on the ceiling.
Germans hide a pickle in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The first child to discover it in the morning receives a small gift.
Thanks to highly successful KFC advertising campaign in 1974, many Japanese families now eat at KFC on Christmas Eve.
Advertising has not only influenced Japanese Christmas tradition but also the image of the contemporary Santa Claus. You see, the big, jolly man in a red suit didn’t always look that way! In fact, many people are surprised to learn that prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned outfits such as a green bishop’s robe and a Norse huntsman’s animal skin. The Santa we all know and love today only came about after Coca-Cola decided to create their own version of Saint Nicholas to fit in with their brand. That meant a red suit and a loveable grandad type figure that kids around the world could relate to.
Traditions That Are Good to Know
If you decide to send a Christmas card to your friend from Japan, choose one without the colour red as it’s traditionally the colour associated with funeral invitations.
Writing a letter to Santa Claus is something all children enjoy, but kids in Canada have all the more reason to do so. Letters addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, HOHOHO” are recognised by Canadian Post, which means you’re guaranteed a response from the big man himself.
Finally, if Santa doesn’t deliver the gift you wished for, why not try to make it come true yourself? Just get our subscription from LottoSpring and wait for your syndicate to hit the jackpot. Then you can celebrate Christmas and the New Year in any country of your choice!