Wacky Ways the Holidays Are Celebrated Around the World


The holiday season is upon us and though they may feel a bit different this year—without large get togethers and more merry-making from afar—the holidays themselves are certainly not canceled. December is filled with celebrations from various religions, ending of course with New Year's which is celebrated, in one way or another, by all. Most are observed in traditional ways, but in every corner of the globe there are also unique ways of celebrating holidays in late December, from Christmas to New Year's—some more familiar than others. From a "pooping" log in Catalonia, to a KFC dinner in Japan, here are some of the most unusual ways people bring the festivities home—all around the world.

Peep Drop, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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Everyone knows about the big ball drop in Times Square, but this town in Pennsylvania takes the New Year's tradition to a newer, sweeter level. For 11 years running, they've hosted an alternative drop—a 400-pound marshmallow Peep chick, which descends to ring in the new year.

Burning Effigies, Ecuador

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New Year's Eve comes with a whole set of traditions and customs to symbolically
leave the previous year behind. Here, "monigotes"—figures that represent what went wrong in the last year, sometimes politicians—are then burned into the night.

Skating to Mass, Venezuela


Venezuelans add a unique touch to the usual Christmas mass by strapping on roller skates Christmas morning and rolling over to church. In the capital of Caracas, streets are closed until 8 a.m. to accommodate.

Mari Lwyd, Wales

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This eerie pagan tradition, Mari Lwyd, is celebrated in late December and requires the skulls of different animals. Usually a horse skull is decorated and attached to a stick draped with a white sheet. Then, these ghostly apparitions are paraded door-to-door while the petitioners ask for ale and cake at each stop by reciting rhymes and riddles.

Caga Tió, Catalonia

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This tradition will make any child giggle. Throughout December, children feed a log painted with a cartoon face, named Caga Tió, and then just before the holiday they are told to sing to it and beat it with a stick. Inevitably, the log "poops" out gifts and nougat candy.

Krampus, Austria

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Known as a sort of "evil twin" to Santa, Krampus terrorizes children, rather than bringing them joy. During this "celebration" in early December, people dress as this devil-like figure and wander around the streets.

Throwing of the Shoe, Czech Republic

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This Christmas tradition has little to do with trimming trees or singing carols. Rather, young women step outside their homes on Christmas Eve and instead of waiting for Santa, they throw a shoe over their shoulder. How it lands is said to predict if the woman will marry in the next year.

Bathtub Carp, Slovakia

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Carp is a classic Christmas dinner staple in Slovakia, but to observe this tradition, you cannot simply walk into your local supermarket to pick up your fish. Instead, the carp must swim in the family's bathtub for up to two days prior to being prepared for the festive meal.

Sauna Visit, Estonia

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This is a holiday tradition most people would happily get behind. On Christmas Eve, after spending the day setting up for the following day's festivities, it is traditional to sweat it out in the sauna with your family.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, Japan

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Kentucky Fried Chicken might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Christmas, but over the years, it has become quite the holiday tradition in Japan. So much so that in order to ensure you get your hands on a holiday bucket, it is suggested that you order in advance, as nearly 4 million people choose KFC as their Christmas dinner.