Norwegians have a pagan belief according to which evil and naughty witches come out on Christmas Eve and ride on brooms. So they hide all the brooms in the household at the safest possible place to keep the wizards from flying about
As Christmas nears, people usher in a climate of joviality and love. Even the harsh winters do not manage to dampen our spirits.
Here are some strange traditions intricately linked with Christmas across the globe:
Hiding brooms in Norway
Norwegians have a pagan belief according to which evil and naughty witches come out on Christmas Eve and ride on brooms. So they hide all the brooms in the household at the safest possible place to keep the wizards from flying about.
Krampus in Austria
As per Austrian tradition, St Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus punishes children who have been naughty. This beast-like creature whips ‘bad’ children and puts them in a sack to be taken to hell. Many young men dress as Krampus in the first week of December in Austria.
Yule Lads of Iceland
Iceland has not one but 13 Father Christmases who are known as the Yule Lads. These lads take turns to visit kids on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. Children keep one of their shoes on the windowsill where the Yule Lad will either leave candy or rotting potatoes which is a sign that the kids have been not good.
Roller blades in Caracas, Venezuela
For the locals of Caracas, Venezuela, it is common for everyone visiting the church early morning on Christmas Eve to wear roller blades. Skating to mass is so popular that the government ensures that there are no vehicles on the road on this day.
Giant Lantern Festival in Philippines
Every year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve, a Giant Lantern Festival is organised in the city of San Fernando in the Philippines. San Fernando is considered to be the ‘Christmas Capital of the Philippines’ where the stage is set of the most intricate and massive lantern. As many as 11 villages participate in the contest.
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