9 Wacky Christmas Traditions Around the World

You’ve got Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Tinsel and ornaments and cookies and carols. But do you recall the other Christmas traditions from around the world?

If you live in North America, you’re no foreigner to photos with Santa Claus, colourful lights, and decorated coniferous trees. But you probably didn’t know about the other creative ways different countries celebrate this holiday.

These Christmas traditions around the world may just surprise you!

DF - Australia Christmas


It’s not always a white Christmas in other parts of the world. In Australia, for instance, lots of people go surfing on the beach during this day. And if you happen to see Santa catching some waves, that’s totally normal.


You know those glass-slash-porcelain scenes of Jesus’ birth (aka the nativity scene)? Well, apparently this scene wouldn’t be complete without a figurine of a man defecating. Apparently it’s been a huge part of this popular scene, in Catalonia anyway, since the 17th or 18th century.

Czech Republic

But isn’t the best present of all a husband? On Christmas day, single women toss a shoe over their shoulder while standing on the porch. If the shoe lands with the toe pointing towards the door it’s a sign she’ll be married soon.


Forget Santa’s cookies. On Christmas Eve, Danish families will leave some rice pudding or porridge out for an elf known as Nisse. He’s quite a mischievous fellow, so the laying out of food hopes to convince Nisse to stay nice to them.

DF - Japan Christmas


It’s not about Turkey or Ham in this country. Instead the Japanese flock to KFC for their annual holiday feast. This tradition started in the 1970s, when clever marketing started pushing that fried chicken was a great holiday meal. The annual KFC Christmas chicken meal doesn’t just include the bird, customers can also get cake and champagne – paying up to $40!


You can’t clean on Christmas Eve. During this day all the cleaning supplies and brooms are locked away. They do this because they fear they could be stolen by witches and evil spirits. Who would’ve thought Halloween and Christmas would clash?

DF - Philippines Christmas


There seems to be this unspoken rule that you can’t play Christmas carols or movies until after Halloween. That doesn’t apply to this country! Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations and the Philippines loves to celebrate it as long as possible – carols are playing and decorations are out starting in September! One of their biggest decorations is a giant star called the parol.

DF - Swedish Goat


Every year, a giant straw goat is put up in this country. Unfortunately, it appears almost every year, someone also finds a way to burn it down.


On Christmas morning, streets in Caracas are closed down. This tradition is so that huge numbers of Venezuelans can roller skate to their early morning mass. Roads open up around 8 am.

What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?

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