Yes, folks, it’s just about the time of year when you hide your brooms so the witches don’t steal them. Wait what?!
In Austria, Santa’s demonic accomplice Krampus goes around punishing the naughty children who St. Nicholas won’t be visiting this year. Men actually dress up as Krampus and roam the streets scaring little kids. Not cool, bro.
Tugging Your Way To Mass
In Venezuela’s capital of Caracas, on Christmas Eve, just as children are going to bed, they tie a string around their big toe and leave the other side of the thread hanging outside their windows.
In the morning, church-goers must customarily roller skate their way to early morning Mass, and if they should see any strings hanging out of windows, they tug on them to wake up the sleepy little ones. Is that cute or what?
In Norway, it’s believed that Christmas brings about the arrival of witches and spirits. So, households casually hide all their brooms before they go to sleep so that the witches don’t take flight with their cleaning utensils. Totally logical.
According to an old Ukrainian legend, an impoverished mother wasn’t able to decorate her Christmas tree during the holidays and so it gathered spider webs and dirt. Christmas morning, sun rays hit the webs and turned them into silver and gold, and the woman nor her children ever wanted for anything again.
Now, it is considered good luck to decorate trees with artificial webs and spider ornaments.
In South Africa, one of the more popular holiday treats is actually deep-fried Emperor Moth Caterpillars. Yum yum… who needs cookies and milk anyways, right?
Stinky Holiday Season
In Catalonia, the jolly season comes hand in hand with defecating. That’s right, they have not only one, but two holiday traditions that involve poop. The Caganer is an, err, lovely little sculpture of a pooping man that they include in their nativity scenes… for some reason.
The second, and even weirder tradition, is the Tio de Nadal – a hollow log equipped with a cute little smiling face. The log is fed daily with treats, and on Christmas, the families hit it with sticks so that the log literally excretes the sweets. Yep.
Have Yourself A Mattak Little Christmas
In Greenland, they have their own holiday recipes. Forget the fruitcake, gingerbread and ham. They serve up some lovely Mattak, raw whale skin served with its blubber (aka fat), as well as Kiviak, literally 500 dead auk birds stuffed into a seal skin and left to ferment for seven months. Mm-hmm, I’d rather eat the fried caterpillars.
Christmas Shopping Or Die
In Iceland, the mythical mare cat is said to devour any and all of those who fail to receive new clothing before Christmas Eve. This is one legend I do not mind obliging.
In Guatemala, each household sweeps their floors and adds their dirt to the neighborhood pile before they adorn it with an effigy of evil at the peak and burn it. Cleanliness and good luck, why not?
Canada Post annually receives letters addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada H0H 0H0. Thanks to a group of volunteers, these letters are now both opened and replied to. Aww.
WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss Christmas Spirit around the Middle East.