7 unusual Christmas traditions from around the world

We kind of want to try them all.

For most, Christmas is a time of traditions, but sometimes those Christmas traditions can get a little…weird.

Maybe it’s a particular movie you always watch on Christmas Eve or maybe Christmas morning isn’t complete without a certain meal or cup of eggnog (we’ll let you decide whether there’s rum in it). If you ask most people, there are usually at least one or two things they do every single year that just have to happen. However, if it’s one of the traditions below, you might have a trickier time explaining them to friends or your sister’s new boyfriend.


You may have heard of this character from the horror movie of the same name, but what you might not know is that in places like Australia, Krampus is just as integral to Christmas as Santa Claus. If you’re nice, Santa will bring you a gift, but if you’re naughty, Krampus will find you and eat you. Doesn’t seem like an appropriate response, but he is a villain after all. Australia even has an annual Krampus Run, where people get chased through the streets by this Christmas demon.

Christmas Pickle

A little more wholesome than a horned anti-Claus rampaging through the streets eating children, the Christmas Pickle is an unusual Christmas tradition started in Germany. While it’s been around since the 19th century, no one is quite sure exactly where this tradition came from. There are a few stories circulating, but no one really agrees on which one is correct. So, what is a Christmas Pickle? Well, you hide a pickle-shaped ornament in your tree and on Christmas morning whichever person finds it first, gets an extra present. Okay then.

Hide your brooms

Picture this, you wake up Christmas morning to the sound of kids rushing down the stairs and elated gasps as they see all the presents under the tree. As you all tear into your gifts with a fireplace crackling in the background, dad comes around the corner with some breakfast, but accidentally drops some on the floor. No big deal right? You head over to where you normally keep the broom, but to your shock, it’s gone! That’s because you live in Norway and if you don’t hide your broom for Christmas, an evil witch will steal it! Duh. How could you be so careless?

Roller Skating

This is one of the unusual Christmas traditions we think sounds like a blast. In Venezuela, Christmas Eve is marked with a night-long party where the whole family heads out on roller-skates to enjoy music, drinks, food, and friends. Seeing as it’s the height of summer at the time, snow isn’t really an issue so nothing is stopping them from slapping on those wheels for an all-nighter. The next morning, everyone roller skates to morning mass because, well, you’ve already got them on, so why not?

Dead Horse Carolling

If there’s one thing we always thought Christmas could use more of, it’s rap battles. Over in Whales, Carollers will go door to door with a decorated horse skull representing folklore legend Mari Lwyd. If you’re lucky enough to be visited by one of these groups, they will sing Mari Lwyd’s challenge which initiates a call-and-response rhyme battle. If you manage to win this epic Christmas throw down, your street credit is sure to go through the roof. We heard this is how Eminem got discovered. That, or Dr. Dre gave him a shot. No one can be sure, but it was definitely one of those two.

The Pooper

Ah, the nativity scene. There’s baby Jesus in his manger, mother Mary, husband Joseph by her side, and the three wise-men readying their gifts. But wait, who’s that taking a dump in the corner? Well, in Catalunya (Spain) the nativity scene just isn’t complete without the addition of a caganer, a bare-bottomed figurine frozen in the midst of going number two. Whether it’s to represent the fertility of the land or a reminder that God will come whether you’re ready or not, Catalunya has been very resistant to anyone attempting to remove their ever-pooping guest.

Ravishing Radishes

There isn’t much that people won’t turn into decorations. We’re used to seeing all manner of twinkling lights, Christmas trees, snow creations, and ice sculptures pretty much everywhere over the Christmas season. However, in Oaxaca (Mexico) starting on December 23, you’ll see radish sculptures as far as the eye can see. They depict everything from the nativity scene to other Mexican folklore events. This three-day event may seem weird, but honestly, we think carving and displaying them is a better use than eating them.

Related Local News: Christmas Lights: Who started this awesome tradition?

Do you have any unusual Christmas traditions? Do you decorate your house with pickles, poopers, and carved vegetables? Let us know! One of the best parts of Christmas is hearing about how other people celebrate. These traditions may seem strange, but that’s only because they haven’t seen widespread adoption yet!

If anyone wants to show up for a dead horse rap battle though, just know, we’ve been practising.

Featured image: Kevin Bidwell via pexels.com