6 of the Weirdest Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Here in the Katie’s Cards workshop, we’re all pretty excited about the upcoming festivities.

And to celebrate the fact that it’s just two weeks until the big day, we’re sharing some of the weirdest (and most wonderful!) Christmas Traditions from around the world.

First stop, Venezuela…

1) VENEZUELA

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, the roads of the city are closed to people travelling by car on Christmas Eve. Why, you ask? So people can roller-skate to Mass… obviously.

2) SWEDEN

In Sweden in a town called Gavle, a giant goat of straw is erected every year to mark the start of the festive period. Vandals try their hardest to burn the goat down to the ground before Christmas day. And in the 40 years of this tradition, the straw goat has only ever lived to see the bright lights of Christmas Morning 10 times.

3) JAPAN

When it comes to Christmas Dinner in Japan, you won’t find anyone slaving over a hot stove – instead, a growing number of the Japanese population decide to opt for KFC on Christmas Day to fill their boots with finger lickin’ chicken rather than turkey. In fact, thanks to the Colonel’s secret recipe used in creating the perfect Christmas marketing campaigns for Japan over the years, you’d need to book a table in advance to eat at KFC on Christmas Day.

4) GREENLAND

The Japanese aren’t the only ones to mix things up on the Christmas day menu. In Greenland, “Kiviak” is the dish of the day. This culinary delight is sort of like a pig in blanket — except the pig consists of the raw flesh of an auk (that’s the bird and *not* the goblin-type creatures found in the Lord of the Rings) and the blanket is seal skin. This is then placed under a rock for several months to decompose until, voila! It’s ripe and ready for eating…and just in time for the Queen’s speech too.

5) SPAIN, PORTUGAL & ITALY

In some nativity scenes across Italy, Spain and Portugal, you might be surprised to find a “Caganer” figurine beside Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The “Caganer” is traditionally a male figure caught with his pants down, defecating. The origin of this Catalan tradition, which is thought to date as far back as the 18th Century, is unknown – as is the exact reason why you’ll find this little chap by the manger in some regions of Europe.

6) IRELAND

While everyone else is doling out the Egg Nog and Milk to Santa and his Reindeer, in the Emerald Isles, only a bottle of the black stuff (Guinness) is good enough. Ok, so this tradition’s not so weird – but it is very Irish and we love it. Particularly as it reminds us of a certain St Patrick’s Day E-card…

So that’s about it (for now) from our international tour of the weird and wonderful and we hope you enjoy sending out our wide range of Christmas ecards to family and friends – wherever they may be.

And whatever your traditions at Christmas might be – we wish you a very merry one.

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