Its here! Christmas day is upon us and all around the world people are celebrating this joyful holiday. Here are a few Christmas Traditions you’ve probably never heard of:
1. Christmas Crapper
Yup, you read right. This little figurine known as “El Caganer,” literally means “the crapper “. Sounds inappropriate for Christmas but in Catalonia, neighboring areas in Spain, Portugal and Italy these little guys can be found naughtily hiding in nativity scenes.
2. Spider Webs
In Ukraine a story is told of a widow and her children who could not afford to decorate their tree. In the middle of the night a spider spun an intricate web around the tree. When morning came, the sun shined on the spider’s web around the tree and it turned gold and silver. Hence the inclusion of decorative Christmas spider webs.
3. Yule Goat
The function of the Yule goat has differed throughout the ages. In modern Scandinavian culture it is seen now mostly as a Christmas ornament. The goat is typically made of straw and wrapped in red ribbons. Huge versions of the yule goat are erected in cities and around Christmas time. Below is the Swedish Gavle goat in 2006.
4. Night of the Radishes
Celebrated on December 23rd, this Mexican tradition involves root vegetables carved into beautiful sculptures. Craftsmen work diligently to create a masterpiece from over-sized radishes, specially grown for this occasion. It is a competition that brings thousands of people, though the competition last only a few hours the festival continues until Christmas day.
5. Christmas Pudding
Also known as “plum pudding,” this delicious dessert has its origin’s in Medieval England. This tradition of using dried fruit and spices to create this Christmas specialty is popular in the British Commonwealth, including many Caribbean countries. Fruit is sometimes soaked in rum, sherry or wine for one year before being used as the main ingredient, giving this dessert a high alcohol content.
6. Skating to Mass
In the Venezuelan capital Caracas it is customary for church goers to roller skate to early morning Christmas mass. The streets are closed to vehicular traffic and kids and adults alike roller skate to church.
7. Boxing Day
Celebrated on December 26th, this tradition is common in the U.K, Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, Canada and other countries. Businesses are closed, the eating, drinking and being merry continues for folks who regard this holiday. It is said that this tradition began when servants/ slaves received gifts and left over food in boxes from their employers/ masters the day after Christmas.
8. Christmas Pickle
Pickle ornaments, that is. Many say the ornaments are a tradition in Germany — “the child who finds the pickle on the tree wins a prize.” (The German Embassy says it’s not a German tradition). But Christmas is not about harsh realities, is it?
Wherever and however you choose to celebrate the season, make it a happy one! All the best to you and yours .
What are some of your weird family Christmas Traditions? We would love to hear about them!