Strangest Christmas Traditions from around the Globe
Christmas is celebrated all over the world and some countries have some very weird traditions they follow. Here are the top ten picks from around the globe that you probably have never heard of – let alone imagined!
Kentucky Fried Christmas in Japan
Japan is obsessed with KFC on Christmas day. The Fried Chicken Giant will sell five to ten times its usual monthly sales at Christmas, more than 240.000 buckets of Chicken! Only one percent of Japanese are Christian and Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan. But somehow a bucket of ‘Christmas Chicken’ is a tradition for many Japanese on Christmas day. Its all because of a hugely successful ‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!’ (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974.
Apparently some holiday makers from a Christmas celebrating country could not find any turkey on Christmas day in Japan and settled for some fried chicken instead. Someone at the company saw a money making proposition in this and launched a Christmas meal deal. Chicken and wine! Today you can get cake and champagne with your Christmas meal. Its now so popular lines can be two hours long on Christmas day and some stores even take orders months before the big day.
2. Cemeteries Lit up by Candlelight on Christmas Eve in Finland
In Finland they commemorate their deceased relatives and ancestors by lighting candles on their graves. People who do not have nearby kin buried still visit local cemeteries and place candles in honor of the dead. Its a tradition that sees snow covered graveyards drenched in candlelight and is a beautiful sight.
3. Pudding Wishes in Britain
In Britain a Christmas tradition is the wishes made on the Christmas pudding. The tradition takes place when the pudding is made, when each member of the family, especially children turn the pudding mix clockwise once and make a wish. The English seem to have an affinity for pudding Christmas traditions, as other include a penny baked in the pudding, giving the lucky recipient good-luck or for good-luck in your marriage a ring takes the place of a penny. Here’s to some pudding luck for us all this Christmas!!
4. Spidey Christmas in Ukraine
You won’t find the normal Christmas tree decorations such as tinsel and baubles on tree’s in the Ukraine. Instead the tree’s are covered with fake spiders and cobwebs! Local Christmas folklore tells the tale of a poor woman that could not afford to decorate her tree. On Christmas morning her children woke to find their tree covered in web threads. They then saw the first light of Christmas day shine on the tree and the webs turned into gold and silver, leaving the family never left wanting again.
It is now thought to bring good luck and good fortune to see a spider web on the tree at Christmas morning. Finally spiders are getting a good wrap somewhere in the world. Its doubtful Santa spiders will make an appearance anytime soon in the US.
5. Going Banana’s at Christmas Time in India
India and Christmas don’t really share a sentence too often. In fact only about 2% of the population in India celebrate Christmas. But put that into perspective, with such a large population, 2% means around 25 million people! Indian Christians celebrate with a midnight mass and give gifts like thier western counterparts, but they have on rather obvious point of difference. The don’t use a pine tree or fir tree for a Christmas tree but instead use a banana or mango tree.