Do you know about some of the most bizarre holiday traditions from around the world? These traditions will scare you, move you, make you laugh, or maybe even make you cry. It’s safe to say that you might never see the holidays the same way again. After all, how many times have you gone around caroling with a dead horse, or hiding statues of a pooping man around your house, or beating a log for gifts? Yeah, this happens in parts of the world and today we’re going to talk to you about them. So get ready, because these are the most bizarre Christmas traditions from around the world.
Our list is full of scary Christmas creatures from Krampus, vicious Christmas cats, and ugly but kind Christmas witches. However, let’s add one more creature to the list: Christmas straw monsters! In Bavaria, they celebrate Christmas by dressing up as scary straw monsters and roaming the streets scaring people. Not going to lie, this actually sounds like fun. Bavarians even go as far as rating which straw monster is the scariest. Move over, Halloween.
Dead Horse Caroling
How does caroling with a dead horse sound? Not good? Well, that’s what they do in Wales in a tradition called “Mari Lwyd.” In its purest form, the tradition involves the arrival of a real skeletal horse head accompanied by carolers at a home or a pub. The carolers will sing a few introductory verses before a battle of wits ensues. People inside exchange challenges and insults in rhyme with the people outside. Wouldn’t it be great to go around singing insults to people you may or may not know while carrying the head of a dead horse?
You might remember Black Pete from our Christmas controversy list. In the Netherlands, Black Pete is celebrated as Santa’s Little helper. The problem, however, is that the character is tied with racial undertones. Black Pete is represented as a blackface character with large gold earrings and exaggerated lips. The origin of the character is said to be rooted in a mid-19th-century children’s book and was inspired by a slave bought in a market in Cairo. The protest against this character has had a strong push pack from Neo-Nazi white supremacists who raised Nazi salutes at the Sinterklaas parade in Hoorn and flew neo-Nazi flags at the one in Zaandijk.
By the end of this list, you are going to realize Spain has a lot of odd (cool?) Christmas traditions. Take El Caganer, for example. Do you know what “El Caganer” translates to? The picture might give you a clue. It translates to the defecator (extra points if you got that before you read this sentence). How exactly this tradition started is a mystery, but legend has it that farmers’ crops would suffer if they did not include a Caganer within their nativity scene. Who would have guessed that pooping would bring someone good fortune?
Mass Roller Skating
Enough poop talk. Let’s get a little more serious here and talk about mass. It’s common for some people to go to mass on Christmas Eve. However, residents in Caracas, Venezuela take this tradition a little bit further. Not only do they go to mass, but they go in roller skates. When was the last time you went to church in roller skates?