20 Bizarre Christmas Traditions… I’m Glad I Didn’t Grow Up In Iceland.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Holiday practices not only differ from family to family, but also from state to state, and even country to country. In fact, some Christmas traditions from around the world are virtually unrecognizable to Americans -- and some are just downright bizarre.
Below are 20 strange and little-known holiday practices, traditions, meals, and myths from all over the world. Have you ever wondered what a Christmas tree in New Zealand looks like, or what they eat for Christmas dinner in Japan? Look no further: Those answers and more are all below. #14 is kind of terrifying.
#1. In Estonia, people celebrate a mix of pagan and Christian traditions. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, the holiday kicked off with a trip to the local nude saunas with family and friends.
#2. Many Greek people believe in Kalliknatzeri, which are goblins that appear to cause trouble during the 12 days of Christmas. Additionally, gift exchanges don't happen until January 1st.
#3. Instead of milk and cookies, the Irish leave mince pies and a bottle of Guinness out for Santa Claus.
#4. Single women have a particularly unusual tradition on Christmas Eve Day in the Czech Republic: With their backs to the front door, they throw one of their shoes over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, they'll stay single for another year. If the toe points to the door, it means she'll get engaged.
#5. In Austria, children live in fear of Krampus, a Christmas demon that is said to steal and beat naughty children.
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