Most Surprising Christmas Traditions And Tales

Christmas has passed, and we decided to tell you a little more about different Christmas facts and traditions that can surprise you and even scare you (or you already knew them, and there is nothing shocking for you). Christmas has become a worldwide holiday, but despite this, there are many local traditions and customs how to celebrate it.

It really depends on the culture, but we can clearly say that there are very cruel and horrifying Christmas tales (Grimms' Fairy Tales cannot even get close to them) with a similar plot and the main idea in Europe. In African countries, its national food will probably surprise you and cause a little disgust. We gather legends about the famous Christmas attributes, characters and traditions all over the world to create a Top 10 of the most surprising Christmas tales.


Boiled Sheep Heads And Deep-Fried Caterpillars

African people have some strange traditions, and one of them is deep-fried caterpillars. It is a traditional Christmas meal in the most parts of Africa. Another strange but traditional Christmas meal exists in Norway. It is called Smalahove and is a boiled sheep's head served with potatoes, rutabagas, and sausages before Christmas.


The Christmas Pickle

Americans have some surprising traditions, for example, the Christmas pickle. Adults usually hide a glass pickle inside the branches of the Christmas tree and in the morning children have to find it. The first one who will find it receives a present.


El Gordo

Some countries have their own and unique Christmas traditions. A perfect example is in Spain, where every Christmas a national lottery “El Gordo” takes place. It has a huge top prize (the last was €4 million), and almost every Hispanic has a lottery ticket which is pretty expensive (€200).


Kentucky Fried Chicken

Some Christmas facts really make your mind blow up. I believe very few people know that in Japan there is a cult of KFC on the Christmas. People reserve places in KFC for Christmas dinner for months in advance. Other people spend hours waiting for KFC bucket in lines. Just madness.


Night Of The Radishes

Another local tradition is the Night of the Radishes in Oaxaca City, Mexico. It was founded in the 19th century to study customers and in 1897 received the status of an official event. Locals make different exhibitions of radishes, which after being adjudicated, the winner gets 12,000 pesos ($617).


Defecating Nativity Figurines

Caganers are small figures of famous people or characters (like John Lennon or Santa Claus). A Christmas tradition to adorn your home with a defecating ornament has appeared in Catalonia between the 17th and 18th century. A legend says if you do not represent your own ornament you will meet a misfortune.


Candy Canes

Nobody knows for sure where the famous candy canes came from. The most popular verse tells that it was created by the German choirmaster who wanted to keep children quite during the mess. And in the 20th century, Bob McCormack has popularized the colored candies instead of the white sugar sticks.


The Christmas Witch

Lots of countries have their own Christmas villains. For instance, in Italy, Christmas traditions are connected with a witch La Befana. According to the legend, she refused the offer of Three Wise Men to come with them to see the baby Jesus, and that’s why she redeems this fault by giving presents to children every year.


The Yule Cat

Icelandic Christmas tales are surprising because of their cruelty and horrification. Jolakotturinn (The Yule Cat) eats people who are poorly dressed up for Christmas. Its “buddy” Gryla hunts bad children and makes a pot roast of them. Sounds like a bedtime story, isn’t it?


The Nikolaus Boot And Knecht Ruprecht

There is a tradition on the eve of Saint Nikolaus Day children put their boots outside the house and leave them there for a night. St. Nikolaus put presents into boots to good children, and for bad he put a bunch of twigs. And Knecht Ruprecht (or Krampus) takes children out of their homes and eats them.