Now we all have our little family traditions that we bring out every Christmas. Whether that be a certain film, my family is partial to A Muppets Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, or a particular food that has to be eaten.
However, there are hundreds of weird and wonderful traditions across the world that we don’t even think of in relation to this special day. Most people are interested in traditions of other cultures, probably because they are so wildly different and strange to us, so I’ve gone ahead and done the research for you to bring you closer to the Christmas traditions of other people.

Most of the traditions I found come from Europe. As children most cultures who believe in Santa know of the naughty and nice list however in Austria children are taught to fear Kramp, a Christmas devil who beats naughty children with branches. Many of the European traditions rely on figures of myth other than Santa. In Norway brooms are safely hidden away on Christmas Eve in case they are stolen by witches and evil spirits. Also along the witches route in Italy children await the arrival of Befana, a witch who delivers sweets and toys on the 5th of January.

Superstitions tend to play a large part of traditions whether they’re at Christmas or not but if you’re in the Czech Republic and you’re afraid of spending Christmas alone fear not! On Christmas Day people stand in the door way with their backs turned, throw a shoe over their shoulder and if the shoe lands with the toe pointing towards the door you will be married within the next year.

Going a little further away from home and more towards something a little ickier, in South Africa on Christmas Day locals eat deep fried caterpillars.

And now, just for our own amusement, let’s end on the downright hilarious traditions. Beginning in Asia, specifically Japan, thanks to one incredibly powerful advertising campaign that took place in 1974 many Japanese families eat at KFC on Christmas Eve. Finally, and my personal favourite, in Venezuela people journey to Mass on roller Skates.

Rachael Atkinson Millmoor