There are not any single but so many different things that contribute to the celebration that we call Christmas. In fact, it’s the only time of year that we simply refuse to travel and decorate our house and Christmas tree.
From deep-fried caterpillars to rotting birds there are different traditions in different countries to celebrate the festival in their own style. Here is the list of most strange Christmas traditions we bet you don’t know.
Feast of the Three Kings:
The Philippines is one of those countries where people like a celebration, especially when it is Christmas. Most Filipinos are Christians and about 80% of people are Catholics. It’s the only Asian country with a huge number of Christians. They like to celebrate Christmas for as long as possible.
The celebrations start in mid of September! However, the formal Christmas celebrations start on 16th December. Celebrations last all the way to January, almost for 20 days.
Children leave their brightly polished shoes and new socks on the window sills or nearby the door from outside for the Three Kings to leave gifts when they pass through their houses at night. There are tales of three kings who stuff those shoes with gifts. Children behave well to make sure they get the gifts. The “Feast of the Three Kings” marks the end of the Christmas celebrations.
Pooping log and the Poo-er:
Catalonia has a couple of really different kind of traditions during the Christmas celebration. A little amount of defecation is involved in Catalan Christmas celebrations. There’s a Christmas character called ‘Tió de Nadal’ or the Christmas log. He is sometimes known as ‘Caga tio’ or the pooping log!. It’s a small hollow log propped up on two legs with a well painted smiling face.
From the 8th December, Catalan families start giving it food and fruits to ‘eat’ and a red blanket to keep it warm. On Christmas Eve, people sing a special song and hit the log with sticks to help its ‘digestion’. The log then drops nuts, sweets, and dried fruits. All of the treats are finished for the year when garlic or an onion falls out of the log.
One more Catalonian custom is a caganer (which means ‘the poo-er’), a small defecating statue which traditionally appears in nativity scenes. And yes, it’s a figure of a person going to the toilet! Different types of El Caganer are now produced each year, often with the faces of celebrities and politicians! This figure has been part of nativity scenes in Catalonia since the mid of 18th century. It’s often hidden in a back corner of the room.
Santa Parade and Santa’s own Postal Code [H0H 0H0]:
Canada is a very large country. People of many different cultural backgrounds live there and they have their own traditions of celebration. Canadian children believe in Santa Claus. Canadians are especially proud to say that their country is the home of Santa Claus although Finland also makes the same claim.
The famous Toronto Santa Claus Parade is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the world! It started more than 100 years ago in 1913 when Santa was pulled through the streets of Toronto for the first time. Children along the route follow Santa and march along with him every year.
It’s been taking place regularly on Christmas day and celebrated as a grand event with over 25 animated floats and 2000+ people taking part in the parade! It’s also broadcasted on many TV channels around the world.
Thousands of children write to Santa every year. What do you think, where does the letter go when someone writes to Santa? Santa’s workshop? The North Pole? Santa has his own postal code, H0H 0H0 and it’s a Canadian postal code.
Letters – directly sent by children bypassing their parents used to remain undelivered because there was no actual address for Kris Kringle. For the past 30 years, thousands of Canada Post Personnel had been helping Santa reply to more than a million letters every year from children around the world in different languages, including Braille.
A Christmas of Remembrance:
Finnish people believe that Santa Claus lives in the north part of Finland called Lapland. There is a big tourist theme park which is known as ‘Christmas Land’ in the north of Finland, where they say that Santa Claus lives. Everyone tries to be at home for Christmas, including fishermen who try to get their boats into the harbor by or before December 21st.
They believe that their ancestors and deceased relatives visit them on Christmas. They also take care of animals and they are also given their own Christmas. Nuts and pieces of suet are hung on trees in small bags from the branches.
Families in Finland usually remember their ancestors and dead relatives and visit their graves on Christmas Eve to light candles in memory of the deceased. Even those who don’t have their kin’s graves nearby visit cemeteries to place candles in memory of their deceased family members.
Hence, on Christmas Eve, cemeteries, lit up with candles present a beautiful sight. They also cook good food and leave some food on tables for the souls of their deceased relatives. All family members sleep on the floor and leave their beds to give the soul a better place to rest when they visit.
Let us know if you know some more!