Unusual Christmas Traditions Around The World

From scary creatures to donald duck, here are the most interesting Christmas traditions from around the world!

There is just over a week until the one day of the year where you don’t have to feel guilty about eating your weight in food. We forget about our diets, spend quality time with those we love, drink a few frothies by the pool & be as carefree as we like! That is how Australians do Christmas. To other cultures though, this may be unheard of. So we have done a little research into the most unusual Christmas traditions from all over the world.

Austria – Bad Santa

 Most countries have Father Christmas, Santa or Saint Nick – not for Austria! They have a ghoulish creature called Krampus, who is half-goat, half-demon. He is said to wander the streets searching for badly behaved children. So if you are planning on taking a Christmas holiday to Austria you may get a fright!

A photo of a mythical Austrian Christmas Character
Photo by Alessio Zaccaria on Unsplash

South Africa – Fried Caterpillars

When you think of Christmas feasts, you probably think of ham, roast chicken or turkey with roast veggies and pavlova – all of the classics! But in South Africa, the kids look forward to fried caterpillars. However these are your normal run of the mill caterpillars, they are a premium breed know as the Pine Tree Emperor Moth, or Christmas caterpillar. Which are said to give you extra luck for the new year!

Sweden – Donald Duck

Not only are the Swedes a very beautiful breed of human, they also have adorable Christmas traditions. Every year on Christmas Day at 3pm, they tune into a television special of Donald Duck. This has been happening since 1958, and 40% of the population still tune in! They play the same episode ever year – Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul: “Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.”  How adorable!

a statue of donald duck
Image by Ikbenhet from Pixabay

Spain – The Poop Log

Prepare yourself a little for this one because it is pretty confusing. In the Catalan region of Spain, they have this tradition involving a log with legs, a little red hat & a face painted on it. They call it the poop log or Tio de Nadal. On the 8th of December each year – which is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – until the 24th of December, children are tasked with “feeding” the log by offering him nuts, dried fruit & water. They also need to cover it with a blanket to make sure he stays warm and comfortable.

a photo of logs with faces and hats
Photo: Ajuntament Barcelona

On Christmas Eve, the children gather around the log and beat him with sticks while singing the traditional song:

Poop log,
Poop nougats,
Hazelnuts and mato cheese,
If you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
Poop log!

Then by some miracle the log poops out presents under its blanket for the kids!

Every country celebrates Christmas in their own very unique way, and we are very lucky to have ours of eating and drinking lots! We are open every day over the holiday period except for Christmas Day.