Ten Quirky Christmas Traditions
Whether you’re idea of a Christmas tradition is gather round a log fire to sing Christmas songs with the family or to fall our spectacularly over who’s turn it is to do the washing up – we’ve all got our own special way of marking the festive season.
While certain things like turkey (or nut roasts!), tinsel, Christmas cake, carolling and the Dr. Who seasonal special go without say – there are a few traditions from around the world that you might be less, shall we say, au fait with. We’ve scoured the globe to pull together some of the quirkier festive features you might want to consider (or not consider) incorporating into your annual celebrations…
The Christmas Pickle
No, not the dilemma as to whether or not you should have that extra slice of figgy pudding; the Christmas Pickle in Germany is quite a literal rendering of the phrase. In Germany the last ornament to be placed on the Christmas tree is a pickle. Not an actual pickle, the pickle is usually made of blown glass, but a pickle none the less. The pickle is tucked away into the darkest recesses of the Christmas tree and the first child to find the pickle is given a special gift (aside from the knowledge they found the pickle, which is frankly, gift enough).
Perhaps to be filed on the more horrifying end of the Christmas spectrum; Krampus is an Austrian Christmas tradition, and presumably, the stuff of Austrian children’s nightmares. Krampusis said to punish naughty children, unlike Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved children with treats. Krampus is monstrous in appearance, often described as ‘demonic’, and legend has it he kidnaps badly behaved children, puts them in his sack and takes them back to his lair. Sweet dreams.
In Caracas, Venezuela residents get into the festive spirit almost immediately, where it is customary for church goers to make the journey from the homes to midnight mass, on rollerskates. The city centres roads are often cleared for hoards of church-goers to skate freely through the city to reach their church of choice.