Christmas in Nigeria is usually, Jollof Rice, Chicken, Church, outings, concerts, and hang-outs but in other parts of the world, Christmas is celebrated in ways you’ve not imagined.
There are some very weird Christmas traditions around the world, like the Japanese they make it a tradition to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas day. Weird right?
Kentucky Fried Christmas [Japan]
No kidding – just like how Christmas turkey is a must on Christmas, for the Japanese it’s the Colonel’s Chicken. Since the beginning of this marketing campaign four decades ago, KFC has been associated with Christmas in the minds of the Japanese for generations, a tradition passed on from parent to child in spite of its commercialized beginnings. More than 240,000 barrels of chicken will be sold during Christmas, five to ten times its normal monthly sales. “In Japan, Christmas equals KFC.”
Toss Your Shoes and Get Hitched [Czech Republic, Slovakia]
If you don’t want to celebrate another Christmas single, then try this: stand with your back to the door and throw a shoe over your shoulders on Christmas day! If the shoe lands with the toe pointing to the door, congratulations, you’re going to get married soon! There’s no clue as to how long before you meet your prince charming though.
Go Bananas With Christmas [India]
In India, only about 2.3% of the population are Christians, but because of the large population they have, we are talking about 25 million people here! Christians here celebrate Christmas with midnight mass and gift-giving like the rest of the world, but with the absence of fir trees or pine trees to decorate, they usually made do with banana trees and mango trees instead.
(Image Source: Tom Elliot)
A Christmas of Remembrance [Finland]
Families in Finland usually visit the graves of their ancestors and relatives on Christmas Eve to light candles in memory of the deceased. Even those who don’t have their kin’s graves nearby visit cemeteries to place candles in honor of their family members buried elsewhere. Hence, on Christmas eve, cemeteries would be lit up with candles presenting a beautiful sight.
Skating your Way to Christmas [Venezuela]
In the capital city, Caracas, before young children go to bed on Christmas Eve, they tie one end of a string to their big toe, leaving the other end outside their bedroom window. The fun part of the Christmas celebration is on the day of the “Early Morning Mass”. Streets were closed off to cars until 8 a.m. for people to roller-skate to the service, and they customarily proceed to tug on any of the strings they see hanging.
Let the Goat Live Until Christmas [Sweden]
In 1966 a 13-metre tall goat figure made of straw was erected in the town square of Gavle. At the stroke of midnight, Christmas Eve, the goat went up in flames. But the town never stopped building it year after year, and vandals never stopped trying to burn the goat down! By 2011, the goat has already been burned down 25 times. The burning of the Gavle goat happened so often that bookmakers began taking bets for the survival of the goat since 1988. The town doesn’t want the goat to be burned down; in fact, In 2001, an American tourist served time in jail and was fined for successfully doing so.
A Spidey Christmas [Ukraine]
Instead of glittering ornaments and tinsel, Ukrainian Christmas trees are covered with an artificial spiders and cobwebs. Why the eccentric taste in spiders? According to the local folklore, there was a poor woman who could not afford to decorate their Christmas tree. But the next morning, her children woke up to see the tree covered with webs and when the first light of Christmas morning touched the web threads, they turned into gold and silver and the family was never left for wanting again. Hence, it is believed that seeing a spider web on Christmas morning brings luck.
Don’t Stuff It in My Socks [Phillipines]
Christmas is huge in the Phillipines since 80% of the population are Christians. Celebrations last all the way to January. Children will leave their brightly polished shoes and freshly washed socks on the window sills for the Three Kings to leave gifts in when they pass through their houses at night. The “Feast of the Three Kings” marks the end of the Christmas celebrations.