Click through our gallery of the weirdest Christmas traditions around the world...
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With less than 1% of the population being Christian, Christmas isn’t a
national holiday in Japan. But families still celebrate – with KFC! The
fast food chain’s 1974 “Christmas Chicken” campaign was so popular that
today they sell a full Christmas dinner of fried chicken, cake, wine and
champagne. It’s so popular in fact that you have to make a reservation
well in advance to guarantee a table.
He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice - in Austria and other Alpine countries, Santa Claus' dark alias Krampus is on the lookout for badly behaved children to beat. On December 5th, people dress up as the half-goat, half-demon creature and take over the streets.
In the Catalan region of Spain, this decorated log makes an appearance in homes from December 8th. Caga Tio translates as the 'pooping log', with children tending to the log, feeding it and keeping it warm to ensure he's ready to poop out presents on Christmas Day.
Image source: Flickr
In Caracas, Venezuela, it's customary that between December 16th and 24th, the roads are closed to traffic to let people roller skate to morning mass.
In Ukraine, it is said to be good luck to have a spider's web in the Christmas tree. The old Ukrainian folk tale goes that a poor family had nothing to decorate their tree with. Overnight, a spider spun its web over the tree, and in the morning the web glittered silver and gold. From that day, their troubles were forgotten, and to remember this, it's typical for spider webs to grace the Christmas trees in Ukrainian homes.
Women in the Czech Republic perform a ritual on Christmas day to predict who will marry next year. With their backs facing the door, they throw a shoe over their shoulder (like a bouquet at a wedding). If the heel faces towards the door, the woman will remain single, but if the heels faces away, she's next in line to be wed.
In the old days, people believed witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on, so they hid them away. Today, Norwegian households still hide their mops, brooms and brushes before going to sleep.