As the holiday season approaches quickly, we just can’t wait to eat whale blubber and worms. I mean, what? Christmas is celebrated all over the world in many different ways and it’s interesting to see how different cultures celebrate this special day. Some might seem sweet while others are very strange, so take a look for yourself.
The Czech have so many superstitious traditions around Christmas. Wanna know if you’ll get sick ahead of time? Cut an apple in half and if it forms a cross, prepare to get sick. If it forms a star, health and happiness are in store for you that year.
Hate feeling single during the holidays? Try this Czech trick on Christmas Eve to see if any romance is in your near future. Stand with your back to the door with a shoe in one hand and throw it over your shoulder. If the shoe lands with the toe to the door, romance is coming your way. Get ready for Netflix and chill with future bae like this.
Swedish people also love to predict future romance. A Swedish Christmas tradition is to hide an almond in rice pudding. The first person to find the hidden almond will supposedly find true love within the next year.
The Japanese are dead serious about eating KFC fried chicken on Christmas day. In a very successful KFC marketing campaign in the late 1970s, the Japanese thought that KFC meant “Kentucky For Christmas” and it’s stuck ever since. Apparently, KFC has to be pre-ordered months in advance for any hope of eating fried chicken on Christmas.
A log becomes the member of the family during the holiday season in the Catalonian province of Spain. Tió de Nadal (The Pooping Log) is wrapped in a blanket and clothed and fed better than most college kids. On Christmas Day, the log is fed sweets, nuts, and dried fruits to aid in digestion so it can poop out presents. When a garlic or onion is pooped, presents are done for the year.
Yes, people actually do exist in Greenland and their Christmas traditions are one of a kind. Every Christmas, people eat kiviak, dead seal skin stuffed with akus (basically tiny penguins). The seal carcass is left to ferment for seven months to be enjoyed on Christmas Day. Another delicacy is mattak, whale blubber, that supposedly tastes like coconut.
Another weird delicacy is to eat fried caterpillars, or Mopane, on Christmas in South Africa. Bugs might be the next cool source of protein anyways, so South Africans already have a leg up.
Consoda is a Christmas morning feast where Portugese families leave out an extra plate with food for the souls of the dead. This is believed to bring luck the following year.
While some of us (ahem, #basicbetches) might be out carving pumpkins in the fall, the people of Oxaca, Mexico carve radishes during Holiday seasons. Radishes are beautifully carved into figures for the Noche de Rábanos (Feast of the Radishes) competition. The winner of the best radish presentation wins a cash prize. On Christmas Eve, there is a huge parade where vendors can show off their “rad” decorations.
Betcha didn’t know that the line “O bring us a figgy pudding” from the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is about English Christmas pudding. Every Christmas, families gather around the mixing bowl of the pudding to make a wish. Each member makes a wish while stirring the batter clockwise. The English seem to go crazy with their Christmas pudding.
Every year, an English couple trim and paint their conifer tree into a Christmas pudding shape. In 2012, celebrity chef, Hester Blumenthal, baked a three meter tall Christmas pudding displayed in Kent. He even set it on fire afterwards.
Yup, the USA is probably most known for having some crazy Christmas traditions. The Running of the Santas (similar to Santa Con) is a large bar crawl that started in Philadelphia. A portion of the money raised goes to charities. The event expanded to New Orleans, Atlantic City, Chicago, and Baton Rouge. About 10,000 Santas were expected to show up this year and it keeps expanding each year.