Wacky Christmas Traditions From Around the World

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated holidays all around the world and, as you would expect different countries have different ways of celebrating it. Here are five of the wackiest Christmas traditions in the world:

Broom Hiding – Norway



The hiding of all brooms on Christmas Eve night is a very old Norwegian tradition. In the old days people believed witches and evil spirits come out on this night looking for brooms to ride on, so they hid them in the safest places possible. Today, Norwegian women still hide their brooms, mops and brushes before going to sleep, while the men sometimes sneak out of the house and fire a shotgun to scare off the witches.

Brooms must be very expensive in Norway, if people go through all this trouble just to prevent them from getting stolen.

Shoe Tossing – Czech Republic


Shoe tossing

In the Czech Republic single women perform a very unusual ritual on Christmas Eve Day, to find out if they will marry in the following year. With their backs to the house door, they throw one of their shoes over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, she will definitely stay single for another year, while if the front of the shoe points towards the door, it means she will move out of her parents’ house, and she should start making wedding preparations.

Food Tossing – Slovakia and Ukraine

Slovakian Food

Slovakian Food

This is definitely one of the messiest Christmas traditions in the world and we strongly advise you don’t try it at home, unless you plan to have your living room repainted soon.

At the beginning of Christmas Eve dinner, the head of the family takes a spoon of Loksa (a traditional Christmas dish made out of bread, poppy seed filling and water) and throws it up at the ceiling. The more mixture that remains glued on the ceiling the richer his crops will be the following year. It’s a fun custom popular in many areas of Slovakia and the Ukraine, but the women that have to clean up the mess don’t like it so much.

Burning of the Goat – Sweden

Burning the Goat

Burning the Goat

What started-off as an act of vandalism has become one of the most interesting traditions in Sweden. For over 40 years the Swedish town of Gavle has erected a giant Goat made of straw to mark the beginning of the holiday season. But every year vandals do everything they can to burn down the goat before Christmas Day. Since 1966, the Straw Goat has survived until Christmas Day only 10 times. People disguise themselves as Santa Claus or elves to get past the guardians and ignite the straw monument.

Rollerskating to Mass – Venezuela



If you are looking for the most unusual Christmas Getaway this year, you should think about traveling to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. On Christmas Eve morning the roads of the city are closed to cars, so people can roller skate to Mass. They don’t have snow here so I guess this is a nice alternative to riding a sled to church.

Instead of Christmas carols people just beat their drums at midnight shouting “Jesus is born!” and use firecrackers to light-up the sky. Christmas doesn’t get weirder than that.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

3 Comments for "Wacky Christmas Traditions From Around the World"

Roxanne Washington says on December 10th, 2009 at 5:27 pm:

Hello. I write for the features section for The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. I am working on a story about unusual Christmas traditions, and I’d like to use some of the material on your Web site, giving the site credit, of course. Is there a particular person I can give credit for this information? Thank you

computer repair says on February 23rd, 2010 at 10:43 pm:

I completely am loving this site! gonna need to remember to add this to my bookmarks.

Douglas says on November 30th, 2010 at 11:05 pm:

WTF? I’m from Caracas and I’ve never seen anyone or heard anyone about a person rollerskating to mass or to any other place in town. We have cars, you know?


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