While some holiday traditions are widespread, it seems every community—and, indeed, every family—tends to develop their own spin on the festivities. And some of those traditions are stranger than others!
We took a look around the world for some of the most unique holiday traditions we could find. Here are a few of our favourites…
The Mari Lwyd in Wales
Carolling is a popular holiday pastime in North America, but imagine if a group of singers turned up at your door with a decked-out horse skull in tow. That’s the Mari Lwyd tradition in some parts of Wales. After a few sung introductory verses, the horse-bearing party enters into a battle of wits—in song!—with the people inside the house, trading insults for as long as they possibly can. That definitely ups the stakes from the traditional holiday singalong!
Rollerskating in Venezuela
Venezuela has a number of festive traditions, but one of the most exciting is particularly found in the country’s capital, Caracas—where it’s customary for residents to go roller-skating on their way to the Christmas church service first thing in the morning. Traffic is shut down until 8 AM so that everyone can safely take to the streets.
Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan
In its Japanese outlets, the American fast-food chain KFC advertises a Christmas chicken special that’s become something of a holiday staple. The meal includes the usual fried chicken as well as festive extras like cake and champagne. And it’s so popular that some people order their meals weeks in advance—with Christmas Eve chicken wait times being as long as two hours!
Tió de Nadal in Catalonia
This might be one of the strangest traditions we’ve heard of yet. In the Catalonia region of Spain, people dress up a hollow log with a hat and a cute little face. It lives in the fireplace until Christmas comes around—and then people beat the poor log with sticks and order it to … um … defecate candy. Call it a unique holiday twist on the Piñata.
How do you plan to celebrate your holidays? Tell us in the comments!
View the rest of the articles on Ingle International for more travel guides and tips.