Unusual Christmas Traditions from Around the World


Japan Buys Chicken, Venezuela Roller-Skates, and India Decorates Banana Trees

Australia has its own brand of Christmas—taking in the sun and the surf, carols by candlelight, and buying Christmas Bush. But have you ever wondered how other cultures celebrate Christmas? Here are several weird Christmas customs that will astound you.

The trees mostly associated with Christmcas are pine or fir trees. But for those who celebrate Christmas in India, the trees that get the holiday treatment are mango and banana trees. According to Hongkiat, the streets are lined with these amazingly decorated trees, signaling the beginning  of the holiday season.

Japan celebrates Christmas with some tasty fried chicken. If you go to Japan during the holiday season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see people buying buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Kentucky Fried Chicken developed a marketing campaign 40 years ago that made their chicken synonymous with Christmas. Now, families have faithfully carried on the tradition. Hongkiat states that more than 240,000 buckets of chicken will be sold during the holiday season, and, according to SFGate, the chicken is so popular that people have to order their buckets weeks in advance.

Japan also celebrates Christmas with Christmas Cakes. The desserts—sponge cakes with chocolate, whipped cream and strawberries—are also ordered well in advance of the holiday season and are eaten on Christmas Eve.

While Japan goes for chicken, Greenland celebrates Christmas with an entirely different kind of poultry dinner. According to SFGate, Greenland’s populace likes eating Kiviak, made from 500 whole auks—including the beaks and feathers—stuffed into a seal skin. The skin is then sewn up and covered in grease. The whole package ferments for months, with a rock on top to keep most of the air out. The end result is a feast that smells like Stilton cheese.  SFGate states that the dish is supposedly very tasty. Another Greenland tradition—the men serve the women their food and stir their coffee.

In Venezuela, people roller-skate their way to Early Morning Mass. It’s not uncommon to find tons of people lacing up their skates and heading toward church. Streets are closed off until 8 a.m. for people to safely roller-stake their way to church. Not only that, but you can also see people tugging on strings. Hongkiat states that on Christmas Eve, children tie one end of a string on their big toe and leave the other end hanging out of their bedroom window.

What do you think about these traditions?

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