Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Weird Holiday Traditions From Around the World

Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s time for my holiday themed Top Ten lists with snarky comments. One of the ten traditions in the list is made up by me. See if you can guess which one is the fake and put your guess in the comments.

Ten Weird Holiday Traditions From Around the World

10. South Africa: In South Africa deep fried caterpillars are the traditional holiday meal. Who knows why? Maybe they believe that eating caterpillars symbolically will make their life turn into a butterfly or some such nonsense. Or maybe caterpillars are just really tasty. Who are we kidding? Anything deep fried IS really tasty.


9. Norway: Maybe my blogging friend Maja Asgautsen from Norway can tell me if this is accurate. According to what I read in the internet, in Norway it’s traditional not to do any cleaning on Christmas Eve and all brooms are put away. Sounds like Norwegian Christmas Eve happens at my house several days every week.

8. Caracas, Venezuela: Residents of this one town, Caracas, go to Christmas Eve mass on roller skates.


7. Germany: In Germany they hide a pickle in the Christmas tree and the first child to find it gets a small gift. I would bet that in German bars around the holidays  “Hey gorgeous, how would you like to play hide the pickle?” is an overused, and probably unsuccessful pick up line.

6. Ukraine: In the Ukraine, instead of tinsel and lights they decorate their Christmas trees with fake spider webs and spiders. Apparently they watch The Nightmare Before Christmas  a little too often.

5. China: In China families bring their pets, dogs, cats, and birds to a special mass on Christmas Eve to have them blessed. In Chinese culture it is believed that animals are more susceptible to demonic possession and the ceremony is thought to “cleanse” them for the coming year.  That is why most households have a “lucky cat” statue to ward off evil spirits.


4. Estonia: Families go to the sauna together. I’m cool with going to the sauna, but with my family? Ugh.

3. Great Britain: Tradition dictates that each member of the family must stir the Christmas pudding in a clockwise direction and make a wish. Reportedly 90% of wishes are “I wish is wasn’t cold and rainy.”


2. Guatemala: They sweep out their houses on Christmas Eve, with brooms they borrowed from the Norwegianscreating a pile of dirt in front of their home. Then they burn an effigy of the devil on top. Geez, Guatemala, lighten up, it’s Christmas! It’s supposed to be fun.

1. Greece: In a twisted version of Elf on the Shelf, the Greeks tell their children that the Kallikantzaroi, a race of evil goblins that live undergroundcome to the surface to wreak havoc during the twelve days of Christmas. Nice, parenting by terror. What’s more traditional than that?

Well, one of those ten is a completely fake. Which one do you think it is? Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil


37 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Weird Holiday Traditions From Around the World

  1. The one in China ?

  2. Roller skates in Venezuela.

  3. I would guess you made up the German tradition just so you could use “hide the pickle” in a blog post but it actually sounds exactly like something the Germans would do. Or Dwight Schrute with a beet instead.

  4. I’m gonna guess the Ukraine. That’s just so wrong lol

  5. Guatemala’s the one that I don’t believe
    No one’s that miserable on Christmas Eve

  6. I think fried caterpillars would be a nice surprise at the holiday pot luck. Good one, Phil.

  7. Good grief – they’re all awful. I would have said China too – or Caracas. Both are just … odd.

  8. Damn it! This was going to be my guest post!! Great minds and all that and great list, I’m particularly fond of the roller skates 😉

  9. I knew the fake one. I love Nightmare, but will stick with twinkle lights.

  10. I guess the Scottish Mad Friday didn’t make the cut 🙁

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