10 Weird Christmas Traditions from Around the World


Mary Peyton Brown, Staff Writer

  1. Krampus: The Anti-Santa

In Austria, Krampus Night is celebrated on December 5th. This particular celebration involves people dressing up as Krampus, the demonic anti-Santa, while scouring the streets for people to beat with a stick.

  1. Kallikantzaroi

A race of evil goblins, the Kallikantzaroi, is said to live below cities, according to Greek legends. Throughout the 12 days of Christmas they come out and wreak havoc on the towns.

  1. Yule Cat

The Icelandic Yule Cat supposedly roams throughout the country until Christmas Eve, when they devour anyone who hasn’t received new clothes by then.

  1. Greenland Recipes

A Christmas in Greenland would involve delicacies such as mattack, or raw whale skin served with blubber, and kivak, or seal skin stuffed with dead auk birds that has been fermenting for the past 7 months.

  1. Deep-Fried Caterpillars

Meanwhile, in South Africa, locals feast on deep-fried caterpillars on Christmas Day.

  1. KFC Christmas Dinner

An advertising ploy from the 70s has convinced Japanese families to eat at KFC on Christmas Eve. Spots fill up fast, and there’s often a long wait to get into the fast food restaurant.

  1. Sweeping in Guatemala

Prior to Christmas, Guatemalans sweep out their homes and collect all the dirt. Neighborhoods then create a humongous pile of all their dirt, put an effigy of the devil on top of it, and burn it down.

  1. Spiders in the Ukraine

Contrary to the ornaments and tinsel of most homes, Ukrainians decorate their trees in fake spider webs and spiders.

  1. Welsh Horse on a Stick

On Christmas Eve, a villager is picked to parade through the streets in Wales carrying a mare skull on a stick.The Story of Danny

South African children are told the story of Danny, a boy who ate the cookies his grandmother left out for Santa. However, when she finds him, she murders him in her rage and it is said that Danny’s ghost still haunts homes throughout the Christmas season.