Weirdest Christmas and New Year traditions

Weirdest Christmas and New Year traditions

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When it comes to Christmas time each country has its own peculiarities. Each one with its own tastes and traditions.

Just to give you all a little taste of it, Swedish people for example, shut themselves indoors at home every 24th December to watch the famous Donald Duck cartoon for Christmas Eve. A tradition that started in the early 1959 – unbelievable.

In Japan, instead, people prefer to eat fried chicken ever since 1970, which is when KFC was established in Japan. As a well spread tradition, there is need to pre-order the chicken weeks before Christmas Eve to avoid any possibilities of running out of food for the special occasion.

The Iberian island of Spain tends to fill their mouth with 12 grapes when the clock reaches midnight on 31st December to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Thus, a tradition that symbolises a wish for 12 new months of luck. And that is not all!

‘Caganers’ here we come, the weirdest tradition – well at least for me – ever seen in Earth. Caganers are little characters placed in nativity scenes. What’s strange about these caganers is that they are famous personalities such as Obama or the Pope – but represented while defecating.


Catalans have a passion for poo as they also have a defacating log that expels presents from its bum called ‘caga tio’, so Christmasy I must say.

In England they eat turkey with a delicious cranberry sauce. They also break a Christmas cracker while wearing an iconic hat.

‘Consoda’ is a Portuguese tradition where the Christmas table is set with a few more places than the actual guests dining at the table. The seats are set for the deceased relatives. Despite of how weird this might sound it is a tradition that wishes good luck to all the family, remembering relatives that have past away.

Italians – and here comes my field of speciality – have an unique menu for Christmas. Of course when it comes to Italians there is food involved. Again and again, you will find the buckle loosened on the classy trousers they wear for the occasion, to allow for the full belly expansion after dinner. They also have a good witch that brings presents to children that have been good kids during the past year, she is called ‘la befana’.


And finally, as we have just entered the New year, Italians drink ‘prosecco’ or ‘spumante’ to celebrate the New Year’s Eve while wearing red lingerie for the night of the 31st December to wish the best for the new year. Indeed, as I wish myself to find lots of love and peace in the new year, I wore red yesterday night and I am wearing red today as well, hoping for the best luck. Yes I look like a tomato, but I love to follow traditions and think positively about the year 2016.

20120102-Zeljko Bilankov

Well, ‘auguri a tutti di buon anno!’ (Happy New year to you all!).

Giulia Sci
Native Italian living in London. A true freak of languages, always keen on learning about cultures and traditions, travel lover and music aficionada. Deeply in love with European countries, but willing to fall in love as many times as needed with other cultures overseas, however that is a *work in progress*. I have been a Radio presenter in different countries as I fancy myself to be quite enterprising and dynamic.


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