More Unique Christmas Traditions from Around the World, Because Why Stop at the Caganer?

Not too long ago, we took a look at some wacky holiday traditions from across the globe that make Santa Clause look incredibly boring. But why stop there? BuzzFeed Blue’s latest video brings even more of the most unique Christmas traditions from around the world that will definitely spice up your holiday season. Not only that, but because this is BuzzFeed we’re talking about here, they’ve been brought to life in glorious animated fashion, too. Consider this one required viewing — you’re not going to want to miss it. I promise.

Although one or two of the traditions might already be familiar to you — remember our buddy the Caganer? He makes a reappearance, as does the tradition of the KFC Christmas feast from Japan — but a bunch of them were new to me; accordingly, I figured I’d pass along my newfound knowledge to you, Gentle Readers. I’d like to take this moment, though, to note that rather a high number of them seem to involve unexpected acts of defecation. I’ve been unable to determine why that is, but I would love to know the answer. Can anyone with the appropriate background(s) enlighten me? Because seriously. Holiday traditions are awesome, and my insatiable sense of curiosity simply must discover why.

Here are four of my favorites; scroll down to watch the whole video. Happy holidays!

1. Krampus

Home turf: Austria, Germany, and other parts of Europe.

What is it? Basically Santa’s evil twin. You’re probably already familiar with Krampus — he’s had something of a renaissance lately, thanks to the Internet — but in case you’re not, here’s everything you need to know about him. His name is derived from the German word “krampen,” meaning claw, and he’s a half-goat, half-demon who literally beats naughty children until they turn nice. What fun!

2. Tio de Nadal

Home turf: Catalonia.

What is it? Like the Caganer, this one involves defecation. Unlike the Caganer, though, Tio de Nadal doesn’t poop out good luck; this smiling, blanket-wrapped log creature drops gifts. I wonder if he ever hangs out with Twin Peaks’ Log Lady and her beloved hunk of wood in the off-season?

3. Shoe Tossing

Home turf: Czech Republic.

What is it? This one sounds kind of like a variation on the whole bouquet-tossing thing a lot of women do at their weddings; it involves all the single ladies tossing a shoe over their shoulders in the general direction of a door. If it lands with the toe pointing at the door, they’re supposed to end up happily married within the next year. Just don’t let that shoe go astray—something tells me that getting hit with a Louboutin is going to hurt a lot more than getting whacked with a few daisies.

4. Spider Trees

Home turf: Ukraine.

What is it? You’ve heard of the pickle ornament tradition, right? The one where you hang a pickle-shaped ornament on your tree in secret, with whoever finds it being bestowed with good fortune for the upcoming year? That’s the purpose of the spider tree, too, except that I don’t think it’s a game of hide-and-seek in the same way.

Watch the whole video below, and check out more holiday traditions and Christmas meals from around the world while you’re at it.

BuzzFeedBlue on YouTube

Images: Der_Krampus/Flickr; BuzzFeed Blue/YouTube (4)