It might be hard to believe, but not everyone celebrates Christmas with a tree and gifts. Some countries do even weird, crazy, bizarre, and spooky traditions. Here’s some weird holiday traditions from around the world to take a look at. 

1) Austria- Be Afraid Of Krampus

According to Austrian folklore, this hairy demon creature visits Austrian children and unleashes punishment to those on the naughty list. If he discovers a particularly bad child, he bundles him into a sack and carts him away. They teach their children if you aren’t good, this creature will eat them. Do they add salt or pepper?


2) Wales- Answer The Door To Mari Lwyd

In late December through to January in Wales, a knock at your door might unveil Mari Lwyd. This is a decorated horse’s skull attached to a long wood pole and covered by a sheet or blanket. However, this isn’t something to be afraid of. Mari Lwyd and her handlers travel through town singing and engaging residents in rhyming contests. Her presence is said to bring good luck.


3) Iceland- Celebrate Yule Lad

In Iceland, from December 12th to the 23rd, Icelandic kids leave a shoe on their windowsill instead of a stocking. While they sleep each night, 13 magical Yule Lads climb down from the mountains to leave gifts in the shoes of well-behaved children. Naughty kids end up with a potato. Mashed potatoes anyone?


4) Italy- Befana Delivers The Toys

In Italy, children don’t ask Santa for gifts, they ask a witch. No, this isn't Halloween. A kind old witch named Befana (‘giver of gifts’) controls the gift-giving duties instead. As per tradition on the eve of January 5th, parents leave out a plate of regional cuisine for Befana. She then flies around on a broomstick delivering toys, clothing and candy to well-behaved children.


5) Australia- Enter The Beach Party

Down Under in Australia people head to the beach where they enjoy picnics, swimming and volleyball. Who wouldn’t want that on Christmas? Skip the snow and enjoy the beach. Just watch out for the massive spiders and kangaroos.




[List via Readers Digest]

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