8 Crazy Christmas Traditions From Around the WorldPosted by Continental Tour Guide in Guide | 0 comments
Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated traditions around the world but not everyone celebrates it the same. Here are some of the weirdest Christmas traditions.
Christmas is one of those worldwide events that many of us feel passionate about. Today is the time of the year that we feel the love and the essence of giving throughout the world. Most people find it hard to be grouchy and sad during this time and tend to be more lively than usual despite the numerous problems we encounter during our day-to-day activity. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, around two thousand years ago. Since his birth, Christmas has been celebrated as a festival of sharing and happiness. Christmas is celebrated all over the Christian world and beyond, and there are numerous different traditions that the people have been following, throughout the world. Here are some of the most unique Christmas traditions followed across the world.
If you thought that being on Santa’s naughty list was the scariest thing to happen around Christmas, you’ve never heard of Krampus Night. Krampus is Santa’s evil twin whose job is to beat and punish all the children who have misbehaved. On December 5th men dress up in some of the scariest devil-like costumes you can imagine and drunkenly run around towns hitting people with sticks and switches. The Krampus legend originates in the Germanic alpine regions and is widespread throughout Hungary, Bavaria, Slovenia and is especially popular in Austria.
Mummering is a Christmas tradition in Nova Scotia. These are small groups of belsnicklers or masked mummers dressed up in costumes and visits household where they sing and dance. The mummers are served with Christmas cakes and cup something nice by the host. There are some places, however, wherein the host is given a chance to guess who the mummers are and if they guessed correctly, the mummer removes his/her disguise and stops making rude noises and actions. If guessed incorrectly, the host must join the Mummers in their merry-making.
In Caracas, Venezuela, church-goers attend an early morning mass between December 16th and December 24th. Not so strange for a mostly Catholic population. What is unusual about this practice is how everyone gets to church: on roller skates. The streets are blocked off to vehicular traffic until 8 am and children, the night before, tie one end of a piece of string to their big toes and hang the other end out the window. As roller skaters go by the next morning, they give a tug to all the strings hanging out the windows.
Ganna, known as the Ethiopia Christmas, is celebrated with a night long church service on Christmas Eve where the people remain outdoors praying and chanting. At Christmas morning, a colorful procession- headed by 3 young men who lashing whips from left to right to keep the people in line- makes its way to a nearby hilltop where a service is held.
Greeks believed in the existence of Kallikantzari (or Callicantzari), mischievous and dangerous sprites which prey upon people during the 12 days of Christmas (between Christmas Day and Epiphany). They are believed to emerge from the center of the earth and slip in people’s house through the chimney. These creatures are said to cause mischief in houses they visit. Several household would keep a fire burning on the hearth throughout the twelve days to repel the undesirable sprites. A ceremonial blessing of the waters by a priest on Epiphany was believed to settle the nasty creatures until the next year.
Over 25 million people celebrate Christmas in India, which is approximately 2.5% of the population. The tradition of mass, gift giving and decorating the Christmas tree is still practised. Due to the lack of pine trees available in India, the locals decorate mango and banana trees instead.
Unique Christmas traditions in the United Kingdom includes children writing letters to Father Christmas, listing their requests. Instead of putting them in the post, however, some children toss the letters into the fireplace. It is believed that the drought carries the letters up the chimney and Father Christmas reads the smoke. Some areas including Scotland, believes in the tradition widely known as ‘first footing’. It is said that the first person to set foot in a house in a New Year is thought to have a big effect on the fortunes of the people that live there.
Norwegians like to take extra precautions around the Christmas period, especially Christmas Eve. In the old tradition, it is believed that evil spirits come out to taunt the living and witches search for brooms in people’s homes. To prevent this, Norwegian women hide all the brooms and mops in the house, while the men fire several shots into the night sky to scare the sprits.