If something characterizes us human beings, it is the traditions that we celebrate throughout the year as they have strong ties to our roots. No country is exempt from these rituals and customs, although some are more peculiar than others.
Christmas time shows us a wide range of curious traditions that will surely surprise anyone who does not know them. Many countries have rituals that their citizens repeat every Christmas to call for good luck.
Do you want to know the funny Christmas traditions around the world? Keep reading!
Norway and its Brooms
Christmas Eve in Norway is full of superstition. According to legend, it is the night when the witches dust off their brooms and go flying all night long, defying the darkness and the cold.
That is why tradition asks that women hide all brooms and mops that night, to prevent a witch from stealing them. For their part, the men are in charge of driving away from the witches throughout the night. Have you ever had a broom missing before Christmas? Start to worry!
Czech Republic and Shoes
If you are a single woman and visit this country for Christmas, do not forget to replicate this tradition. Here single girls who want to know if they will get married next year repeat the same act every year.
They stand at their door and throw a shoe over their right shoulder. If the toe of the shoe faces the door, the young woman will marry next year. But if the heel is pointing to the door … you better try next Christmas again.
Ukraine and its Fake Halloween
If you spend Christmas in Ukraine, its decoration will seem more worthy of Halloween than Christmas. To decorate their trees, they use cobwebs and spider figurines.
This has been maintained due to the tradition that an impoverished family did not have materials to decorate their home, and they used the spider web to cover the tree. That night the spiders collaborated and created gold and silver webs for the tree.
Since then, the family has never had difficulties again. Definitely one of the strangest Christmas traditions!
Venezuela and its "Patinatas"
December 25 has a rather curious tradition: to go to mass from very early hours on wheels.
Crowds of people put on their skates, take out their scooters, or sled to skate to the church. In Caracas, many streets are blocked by security agents to facilitate this tradition.
The Philippines and its Giant Lanterns
Every Saturday before December 24, they celebrate a great old festival in the city of San Fernando: The celebration of the giant lanterns.
Several towns compete to be the creators of the largest lantern in the area. Originally they were made with bamboo, rice paper, and candles, but nowadays, all kinds of materials and electricity are used to build gadgets of more than 6 meters in height, which amaze the visitor with many colors and lights.
Germany and its Ice Water Baths
For many years, every December 25, Germans flock on mass to the almost frozen waters of Lake Orankesee (Berlin) to take the last bath of the year, surrounded by snow and blocks of ice.
Just imagining the scene already causes a chill through your entire body. Every year Berlin organizes this event, which is already a tradition for the bravest and warmest Berlin citizens. Would you dare to follow this German custom?
Yugoslavia and Parents Tied Up by Their Children
Two Sundays before December 25, this ritual begins, which is repeated in most Serbian homes. The children at home are in charge of withholding their mother and tying her to a chair.
Then the children say the following words to ask for something in exchange for her liberation: “Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day, mother, what will you give us to set you free?”
In order to be released, the mother must respond that she has gifts for them. The same happens on the Sunday before Christmas but with their father. Will the gift always live up to liberation?
Iceland and the Yule
For 13 days before Christmas, the children of Iceland leave their best shoes at the window for the Yules (or rogue goblins) to come down from the mountains and bring them gifts if they have behaved well.
If they have misbehaved, these elves leave them rotten potatoes … If you are lucky, you will see them pass by in their regional costumes.
So, as you can see, Christmas traditions around the world are not just about Christmas stockings and Christmas trees!
There are many different ways people around the world celebrate this wonderful time of the year, and, while some of these traditions may sound a bit weird or strange to us, as long as people are having fun and enjoying themselves, that’s what it’s all about!
Which of these Christmas traditions did you like the most? Did you know them all?