Cats, brooms, cucumbers… the 8 most curious and fun Christmas traditions in the world

Many countries have some incredibly unique customs for celebrating these holidays.

Christmas is a time of celebration all over the world and there are many ways to celebrate the holidays . Each country has its own Christmas traditions . Some are really fun, like hiding brooms in Norway. Others are very curious, like putting the fish in the bathtub in the Czech Republic. The travel technology company Kiwi.com has compiled a list of the most surprising ways to celebrate these festivities.

1- Escape from the evil cat in Iceland

Christmas has its “dark side” in Iceland, where a big, evil black cat, named Yale Cat , is the star of the season. This creepy feline prowls the streets and feeds on those who do not wear the appropriate new clothes for these special dates. This tradition could have its origins in the Middle Ages , when feudal lords rewarded their serfs for a year’s work with new clothes at Christmas. And although the true meaning of the cat remains a mystery, it is certainly a good way to get children to behave during the holidays and agree to dress up in “fancy” clothes so that the evil cat does not catch them.

2- Hide the broom in Norway

In Norway, brooms are not left outside houses on Christmas Eve; Not on the terrace, not in the garden. They are kept in a safe place so that witches, who often use them to move around and for some of their spells, do not steal them. So, out of respect for tradition and also to avoid bad luck, it is better not to leave any broom in sight .

3- Hitting a trunk to get gifts in Spain (Catalonia)

The “Tio de Nadal” is a Catalan tradition. He paints a face on a log and, like Santa Claus, brings presents at Christmas. Weeks before, on December 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception, Catalan families wrap the trunk to keep it warm. On Christmas Eve, according to tradition, it is placed by the fireplace and all family members take turns hitting it with a stick, ordering it to drop the gifts and sweets.

4- Decorate a chichilaki in Georgia

A chichilaki is a statue resembling a Christmas tree , which Georgians build from dried hazelnut or walnut branches. After cutting and splitting them, they form a small sculpture in the shape of a fir tree and decorate it with red berries, dried fruit or the traditional Georgian sweet , a candle-shaped candy. This unique Christmas tree can be of different sizes; from a few centimeters to several meters.

5- Visit 12 Christmas pubs in Ireland

A relatively new, but very popular Christmas tradition takes place in Ireland, with the 12 pub crawl. The participants must comply with a series of rules: wearing an ugly sweater is basic and then it is convenient to add decorative elements such as bells, lights, etc. to the outfit. In each bar, at least one drink is consumed, usually a pint of beer, and, in addition, each bar has its own special rules , such as not saying tacos, speaking only with a foreign accent, or drinking only with the left hand.

6- Putting the fish in the bathtub in the Czech Republic

Czechs usually buy live carp, but the life of the fish does not end when they buy it. Once home, they put it in the bathtub and leave it there until Christmas Eve, because the popular belief is that the longer a carp stays alive in clean water, the tastier its meat will be. But there is not only superstition with carp in the Czech Republic. On December 4, Saint Barbara’s Day, they put a cherry branch in a vase and believe that if it blooms on Christmas Eve all their wishes will come true in the coming year.

7- Decorate the Christmas tree with vegetables in the United States

Vegetable-shaped Christmas tree decorations probably started in Europe and made their way to the United States, where they remain very popular, especially among families with several children, where the first to find a pickle hanging from the tree receives a gift.

8- Attend the Christmas mass on skates in Venezuela

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, parishioners do not arrive at Christmas mass on foot, or by car or public transportation, but on roller skates . This special and fun Christmas tradition has become so popular that the city closes the streets to traffic for the entirety of December 25 until the next morning to make skating safer.

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