Christmas is weird enough already. We leave out milk and cookies for a fat man who flies through the sky on a sleigh. We sing obnoxious amounts of Christmas songs, buy things for people we don’t really care for, and put presents in a sock. If that’s not super bizarre already, wait to you see what the rest of the world does. This roundup of the top ten most interesting holiday traditions will have you searching for pickles and praying for poo.
1.Germany: Hide the Pickle
Surprisingly, this Christmas tradition is fairly normal compared to the others. We won’t get into the entire backstory, but on Christmas morning, the child who finds the pickle ornament gets an extra present and good fortune for the year. Tell us that doesn’t tickle your pickle!
2.Japan: KFC for Christmas
It seems like in America, KFC remains popular with southerners and stoners, but in Japan, it’s a full-on Christmas tradition. What started out as marketing genius on KFC’s part in 1974, has grown into something big. Millions of people in Japan get the finger-lickin’ good stuff by the bucket for their Christmas feast.
3.Ukraine: Creepy, Crawly Christmas
Basic girls all over lose their s*** decorating the Christmas tree to Instagramable perfection each year. The people of Ukraine kind of do that, but with spiders. With a very Nightmare Before Christmas vibe, their Christmas tradition includes decorating the tree with spiders and webs. That doesn’t sound traumatic or anything!
4. Estonia: To the Sauna
All we can say to this is, “Yoohoo! Big Summer blowout!” If you’re not getting the Frozen reference, we have some suggestions for you, but aside from that, we’re all about this Estonia Christmas tradition. The whole family heads to the sauna for the holiday. We hate cold, so this sounds like a sweaty situation we’d like to be a part of.
5. Philippines: Sweet Shoes
This is fairly similar to the tradition of stockings, but in the Philippines, they choose shoe over sock. Children leave their nice shoes out for the night, and when they wake up, they are filled with candy. If the child has been bad though, they put a stick in it. We don’t get it either, but a shoe full of candy sounds like the type of Christmas we want to have.
6. Greenland: Festive Fermentation
Alright, we’re choosing KFC over this one in the biggest way. Greenland, you’re pretty and all, but y’all are freaky with this one. Two words: fermented bird. They capture they native birds, and with the beak, feather, and well, everything on, they wrap it up to ferment for a few months. Christmas is apparently the perfect opportunity to open and up and eat this smelly thing. HARD PASS.
7. Norway: No Christmas Witches
Norway once believed that witches were out and about during Christmas, leading them to hide their brooms around the holidays. Although Norway has brightened up a bit, they keep the tradition strong. But honestly, whoever said there are no witches during Christmas has never seen our mothers before family comes over.
8.Sweden: The Scariest Rice Pudding Ever
This generation is clearly scared of commitment, so we’re naturally terrified of this Swedish Christmas tradition. An almond is buried beneath the surface of rice pudding, and the lucky person who finds it in their bowl will apparently be married within a year. A year isn’t even long enough for us to decide whether we like our new shoes let alone settle on someone!
9. Catalonia: The Crapper
Catalonia, you sly dog you. They get the award for the most ridiculous holiday tradition that we all wish we could adopt. El Caganer, which translates roughly to “The Crapper” shows up in his porcelain glory and graces homes, public spaces, and nativity scenes with his presence. The figurine or statue, depending on his size, shows up on December 8th, is “fed” by the children until he POOPS OUT PRESENTS. We did not stutter, and we literally cannot make this sh*t up.
10. Venezuela: Team X-mas Blades
Despite the fact that most of North America wouldn’t be able to ride through the snow and ice winter brings, this one is awesome. People in Venezuela must have put their hands up one Christmas and said “we’re bored. Let’s strap on our freakin roller skates and SKATE TO CHURCH,” and everyone else realized how great of an idea it was. Never stop doing this Venezuela.