10 Of The Strangest Christmas Traditions Around The World & It Includes Pooping Logs

Just when you thought you'd seen and heard it all!

Western Canada Editor
10 Of The Strangest Christmas Traditions Around The World & It Includes Pooping Logs

The holiday season is all around but, depending where in the world you live, there are some quirky traditions.

For many, the holidays is a chance to spend quality time with family and friends, relax by an open fire — or beach — depending how hot the climate is in December, and exchange gifts.

But, there are some lesser-known Christmas traditions around the globe, and some of them are likely not what you are expecting.

Austria

Children who have been naughty instead of nice can expect a visit from Krampus.

As if the threat of missing out on presents wasn’t bad enough, Krampus is a horned, hairy beast that snatches naughty children in his wicker basket. He serves as Santa's creepy enforcer.

On December 5, it is a tradition for dozens of men to dress as the. half-goat demon and parade through the streets with sticks to terrify children.

Germany

On a similar theme, and to impress Krampus, kids in Germany leave their shoes outside on the night of December 5.

If they have been good, their shoes will be full of gifts and candy, but if they have been bad, Krampus will fill their shoes with tree branches and coal.

Slovenia

On December 5 at 5 p.m., Slovenia's capital city Ljubljana hosts a Saint Nicholas procession, the first of three Christmas traditions in the country.

Known in Slovenia as Miklavž, tradition says that he brings gifts of sweets, fruit and biscuits to children who have been good during the year. For children who have been bad, 'the trotters' come and scare them.

In homes across Slovenia, children put a shoe or stocking outside their bedroom and wake up to see what has been left inside. It is often filled with small gifts, rather than lavish or luxurious items.

Mexico

In the days before Christmas, the city of Oaxaca celebrates the Night of the Radishes.

It's a vegetable carving competition and locals get surprisingly competitive and creative, building everything from fantasy demons to nativity scenes.

People spend all year growing their radishes and they are pumped with special chemicals to ensure they grow huge. They are only on display for a few hours though, before the vegetable starts to wilt.

Ukraine

Instead of lights hanging on the outside of houses, Ukrainians choose to put up spider webs.

The history behind this tradition involves a widow who had very little money and her children. They grew a Christmas tree from a pine cone but couldn't afford decorations, and when they woke up one morning, the tree was covered in spider webs which glistened gold and silver in the sunlight.

Italy

A wine-drinking witch celebrates many Christmases with Italians and it happens 12 days after Santa's visit on January 5.

Families leave out a glass of wine and sausages for "La Befana" who slides down the chimney on her broomstick.

The tradition stems from an old folklore tale, where the lady turned away an invitation from the Three Wise Men to witness the birth of Christ. She was so upset about missing it, she spends each Christmas flying around searching for Baby Jesus and hands out presents to well-behaved kids and coal to naughty ones.

Japan

A hugely successful KFC ad campaign in the 1970s means that many Japanese families eat fried chicken on Christmas Day.

Japanese KFC Christmas Commercialwww.youtube.com

It has become so popular that reservations in restaurants are made months in advance.

Wales

In Wales, some residents parade around an undead horse in their villages.

They put a white sheet over a police with a horse skull attached to the top and then knock on residents' doors singing to them. The tradition states that the residents should sing in return before giving away food or drink (similar to trick-or-treating).

Iceland

Thirteen mischievous trolls roam Iceland in the two weeks before Christmas.

They each with their own unique personality, including Doorway-Sniffer, Spoon-Licker, Sausage-Swiper, Candle-Stealer, Curd-Gobbler, and the ominously named Window-Peeper,

Children who have been good this year receive presents and naughty children receive rotting potatoes.

Catalonia

Catalans mark two poop-based Christmas traditions.

The first is called the "caganar", which translates as "the pooper" — it's a figure of a peasant who isn't wearing any pants sneakily laying a cable into nativity scenes.

The second is called the "pooping log" or in its native language "caga tió" which is a small stick with a smiley face that sits on the dinner table (pictured at the top of this article). Each day it is given food and kept warm with a blanket and on Christmas Eve it "poops" out presents for kids.

How it actually works is that kids leave the room to pray for presents while residents put gifts under the blanket.

Daniel Milligan
Western Canada Editor
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