It’s no question that people celebrate the holidays in different ways. For instance, while some celebrate Christmas by decorating a live tree with ornaments and exchanging gifts, others opt for a plastic tree. Nevertheless, different holiday traditions are part of the joy of the holidays. Here are four of the most unbelievable holiday traditions from around the world.
Australia – Christmas at the Beach
While Americans dream of a White Christmas, for many Australians, partying on the beach is their Christmas ideal. Temperatures in Australia often reach over 70 degrees Fahrenheit in December. As a result, many flock to Australia’s beaches to take in the sun, enjoy a nice barbeque, and hang out with family and friends. Many even dress up in Santa garb in spite of the hot weather and party well into the night.
Japan – A KFC Christmas
Japan is home to a very small Christian population; only 1 – 2% of the Japanese population identifies as Christian. However, many Christians in the country observe a unique Christmas tradition: eating a chicken dinner provided by the Colonel (Colonel Sanders to be exact). This tradition stems from a successful 1970 marketing campaign created by the first manager of a KFC franchise in Japan that championed the fried chicken dinner as an authentic Christmas meal. The English translation of the campaign tagline read simply, “At Christmas, you eat chicken.” Today, 3.6 million people eat KFC for Christmas dinner in the country.
Mexico – Night of the Radishes
This Christmas tradition originates from Mexico’s colonial past, as radishes were first introduced to Mexico in Oaxaca by Spanish colonists. Some time during the 18th century, local farmers carved misshapen radishes into intricate figures as an artistic way to promote their business. Eventually, in 1897, this tradition became a formal competition held annually on December 23rd; the Night of the Radishes was born. Now, every year, people flock to the city of Oaxaca to see the elaborate displays ranging from Nativity scenes to depictions of traditional Oaxacan life and await the awarding of the grand prize of 15,000 pesos.
Austria and Hungary – The Legend of Krampus
This frightening legend popular in Austria and Hungary makes receiving coal seem like a blessing. Although many families living in the two countries observe the tradition of Santa Claus, many also celebrate the tradition of Krampus, a devilish creature designed to scare naughty children. This mythical figure is typically celebrated on Krampusnacht (December 6th), the day Krampus punishes children for their misdeeds, making it one of the scariest holiday traditions in the world.
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