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Strange Christmas Traditions Around the World

Sean Gallup/Gatty Images

A Christmas tradition in my family is making and eating lefse. It’s not that strange when you think about it and it’s nothing compared to these traditions I found.

The Christmas Pickle – This one comes from Germany and Spain. If you know anyone of German or Spanish descent, check their Christmas tree. There’s a tradition of hanging up one Christmas ornament that’s shaped like a pickle. It’s supposed to be hidden among all of the other ornaments and whoever finds it gets an extra gift on Christmas Day.

Roller Skating to Church – From December 16 to Christmas Eve, cars aren’t allowed on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela until 8am, so instead of walking to morning Mass, everyone roller skates there.

Spider Webs on the Tree – There’s an old story in the Ukraine that says there was a family too poor to decorate their tree and when they woke up Christmas morning, their tree was decorated in gold and silver spider webs. So, in the Ukraine it’s not unusual to see spider webs on the tree. It’s supposed to be a sign of good luck.

Hiding the Brooms – This one comes from Norway. Apparently, if you don’t hide all of the brooms in your house, evil spirits will rise from the dead and ride around on them. Here it would make more sense if it’s a Halloween tradition, but not in Norway.

Eating Kentucky Fried Chicken – This one is from Japan. Less than one percent of the Japanese population is Christian, so the stores and restaurants are all open on Christmas Day and it became tradition to eat fried chicken on Christmas, especially Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s also very popular to eat strawberry shortcake for dessert. Apparently it all stemmed from a KFC Christmas advertisement in the 1970’s.

Do you have any of these traditions or do you have a Christmas tradition (strange or not) that your family does?

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