Unusual Christmas Traditions Around The World: Bad Santa, Yule Cat And More

Unusual Christmas
Traditions

Christmas has come knocking by our doors. The season for hot cocoa and ‘ho ho ho’ is the most awaited time of the year across the world. 
Here’s a look at some of the most interesting and unusual Christmas traditions seen around the world 

Bad Santa, Austria

All kids are fed stories that if they behave well, Santa Claus would shower them with gifts. However, this story takes a ghoulish turn in Austria where it is believed that Santa’s malicious accomplice, Krampus, wanders the streets punishing kids who have been bad 

Ghastly Pranks During Bad Santa

Around this time of the year, you can expect to see terrifying masked figures wandering about the streets in Austria, scaring kids and children alike with ghastly pranks. With the sinister angle played in, this Christmas tradition reeks of Halloween 

Roller Skate Mass,
Venezuela

Going to mass on Christmas? Nothing new about that. However, going to mass on roller skates is something out of the blue. In the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, swathes of city-dwellers make their way to mass on roller skates every year on Christmas morning

Festive Sauna, Finland

Many houses in Finland are usually equipped with their own sauna. On Christmas Eve, it's customary to strip naked and take a long and respectful stint in the sauna

Festive Sauna, Finland

According to Finnish beliefs, every sauna has its own sauna elf, or ‘saunatonttu’, whom you should take care of and respect

Flying Witches, Norway

Norwegian folklore says that Christmas Eve is the day when mischievous spirits and witches take to the skies

Flying Witches, Norway

As witches often use brooms as their preferred mode of transportation, it's tradition for Norwegian families to hide away any sweeping sticks where the witches won't be able to find them 

Yule Cat, Iceland 

Icelanders believe that a giant cat roams the snowy countryside around Christmas time. Traditionally, farmers would use the Yule Cat as an incentive for their workers...

Yule Cat, Iceland 

....those who worked hard would receive a new set of clothes, but those who didn't would be devoured by the gigantic cat-like beast. Nowadays, it’s customary for everyone in Iceland to get new clothing for Christmas to avoid a gory death 

Jolabokaflod, Iceland 

Jolabokaflod (roughly translates to Christmas book flood) is a beloved Icelandic tradition where families gather together to exchange new books and spend the evening reading them

Jolabokaflod Background

Jolabokaflod started during World War II, when paper was one of the few things not rationed in Iceland. Because of this, Icelanders gave books as gifts while other commodities were in short supply, turning them into a country of bookaholics to this day 

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