As you gather with family and friends to celebrate Christmas today, have you ever wondered how different people around the world celebrate Christmas? From throwing pudding onto the ceiling to fortune telling, here are some of our top picks of different Christmas traditions around the world
1. Catalonia, Spain
In Catalonia, a province of Spain, people celebrate Christmas with the Pooping Log! The ‘Caga tio’ (the pooping log) or the ‘Tió de Nadal’ (the Christmas log) is a small hollow log with two legs and a smiling face painted on one end. Catalan families look after the log by feeding it and keeping it warm from the 8th December (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) until Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, Catalans sing a special song and hit the log with sticks to help its ‘digestion’. The log then poops out sweets, nuts, and dried fruits!
2. Czech Republic
via Brian Thacker
On Christmas, Czechs predict the future wellbeing of their family with floating walnut shells. Each person makes a small boat of walnut shells with a small candle on it. The boats are then left to float on a bowl of water. If the boat successfully floats across the bowl, the boat’s owner will have a prosperous life. However, if a boat sinks, it will predict bad luck for its owner. Another interesting Christmas custom practiced in Czech Republic is foretelling marriage. Unmarried women will stand by a door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the shoe points towards the door when it lands, the lucky woman will be married within a year!
The one day you’re encouraged to mess the house up!! Every Christmas, the most senior man of the house takes a spoonful of traditional Loksa pudding and throws it at the ceiling. The more pudding that sticks on the ceiling, the better!
On Christmas morning, Venezuelans head to church to attend mass, but on roller-skates! With the entire city roller-skating to mass, roads are closed to vehicles
via Project Puffin
Enjoying your Christmas turkey? On special occasions such as Christmas, people in Greenland eat the Kiviak, a traditional Inuit delicacy made from fermented sea birds. 500 dead auk birds are stuffed into a seal’s carcass, sealed with seal fat and left to ferment for 7 months. Many then eat the Kiviak raw by biting off the bird’s head and then sucking out the juices inside. Definitely not for the faint hearted.
In Japan, KFC started advertising their chicken meals as Christmas specials in the 1970s. Snce then, eating KFC has become a Christmas tradition and people have to book their chicken buckets weeks before Christmas.
Visitors to Ukraine will probably get confused and think it’s Halloween instead of Christmas. Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with artificial spiders and webs! Spider webs are believed to bring good fortune for the next year. There are many versions behind how this tradition started and here’s one
Fancy an extra present? Germans hide a pickle in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and the first child to find it gets a gift! German children also leave a shoe outside their houses on the 5th of December. The next morning, it will be filled with sweets (if you were good). Naughty children got a tree branch in their shoe instead.