We’re all familiar with hanging stockings on the mantelpiece, opening the advent calendar and leaving mince pies out for Santa Claus, but there are some weird and wonderful traditions from around the world that other countries have when it comes to Christmas time. Here we take a look at some of the most unusual and where they come from.
The people from Greenland have a delightful treat to tempt the taste buds at Christmas time. It consists of the raw flesh of an auk – which is a little bird that looks a little like a penguin and also known as a kiviak. The meat of the bird is buried beneath a stone to decompose, wrapped in sealskin, the whole process takes several months and results in a very pongy snack. Have a think about that next time you’re complaining about sprouts!
In Portugal, they have an unusual tradition which includes sitting down for a large feast known as the “Consoda” feast. Nothing strange so far, except that extra places are set for guests who have passed away. Food is offered to the souls so that they might look after the family and bring them luck. It’s quite a nice thought, though just a little bit creepy!
In Latvia, they spread out the Christmas presents, with one being given on each of the 12 days of Christmas beginning on Christmas Eve. We’re not sure we’d have the patience to last that long before opening our presents! On Christmas day, a traditional Latvian Christmas meal is brown peas and bacon, pies, cabbage and sausage… a little different from turkey and veg!
The Norwegians take no chances when it comes to anything spoiling Christmas day, and that includes pesky witches that might want to shake things up a little. How do you stop a witch? By hiding her broom apparently! Yes, all brooms are to be hidden in Norway on Christmas Eve… that’ll teach them!
All the single ladies, now put your hands up… and reach for a shoe. What? Yes, in the Czech Republic, girls can tell their dating fate with this simple test. Standing on your front door, facing inside, throw one of your shoes over your shoulder. This simple, yet highly scientific prediction process will let you know if you are to be wed within the year. If the toe is facing the door then it will be the chiming of bells before the year’s end. Heel facing the door and you should get out there with the mistletoe!
These are just a few of our favourites, but trust us, Christmas is a weird and wonderful time of year, throughout the world!