Celebrations like Christmas have existed since ancient times in the form of Kalends, Saturnalia and Deus Sol Invictus but the Christian Church declared December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ and included these holidays altogether instead. Many countries around the world celebrate this festival with unique traditions that are funny, interesting and quite bizarre at times.
The Christmas Tree
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The city of Riga in Latvia was the first one to have a decorated Christmas tree and this was way back in 1510. A tradition associated with the tree is that you can get an extra present if you find a pickle-shaped ornament in the tree. In Latin America, the tree is put up on the Immaculate Conception Day i.e. on December 8 and kept till January 6. As per some traditions, the Christmas Tree should not be kept after Candlemas Eve as it brings bad luck!
Nordic Mistletoe Tradition
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The plant of Mistletoe has been associated with fertility and life since ancient times as it continued to grow in winter season even when the other plants died. As per Norse mythology, the God of Joy Baldur was killed by a mistletoe-made arrow. His mother Frigg started crying and her tears tuned into white berries that revived Baldur. Happy with this, she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to those passing under it. In UK’s Tenbury Wells, a Mistletoe Festival is held each year on the first Saturday of December.
Sweden’s Gävle Goat
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This tradition of building a tall Yule Goat from straws has been around since 1966. It is displayed at the Castle Square of Slottstorget in Sweden as the Christmas season begins. But lately the tradition of burning this 13-metre tall Christmas straw goat has picked up and it has been burnt 29 times ever since 1966.
Spain’s Poop Log
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In Spain’s Catalonia kids make a pooping log called the Caga Tió by decorating a small log piece with clothes, hat and make a face for it too. They give food such as bread and fruit to the log and keep it at their home or school and on Christmas Eve they start hitting it with a stick to encourage it to poop out sweets for them!
Read More: The Perfect No Bake Christmas Cake Recipe
Iceland’s Yule Cat
It is a custom in Iceland to get new clothes for Christmas otherwise a giant cat called the Yule Cat can devour you!
Venezuela’s Roller Skate Mass
The capital city of Caracas sees many people roll out in a mass for the Christmas celebrations wearing roller skates. Even the city traffic is managed since 8 am in such a way that the entire group can smoothly reach the church.
So as you celebrate the beautiful festival of Christmas to rejoice about the birth of Jesus Christ, remember how people around the world have so much fun during this time in their own peculiar ways. Spread the cheer of Christmas around and know more about Christmas recipes, places to have a nice Christmas meal and Christmas-y destinations on HerZindagi.
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