1. Christmas Dinner In The United Kingdom
(Image: The Mirror)
Confusingly, Christmas dinner in the UK is served between 1pm to 3pm on Christmas day which sounds more like a late lunch to us Malaysians. The reason for hosting their dinner parties so early in the day is to keep their evenings free to get drunk and watch holiday specials on TV usually airing later in the day!
2. In Italy, Christmas Starts Early
The 8th of December is an official bank holiday and it also serves to remind people that Christmas is around the corner and to get into the festive spirits! Italian families will already have their Christmas trees, crib and other Christmas decor up and ready by the 8th. On that day, Italians also begin making their holiday treat, torrone — a sweet that's made of sugar and toasted almonds.
3. German Kids Collect Sweets from Their Snow Boots
Children all across Germany each leave a single boot outside their doorsteps during Christmas time. This is so St. Nicholas, Santa Claus's predecessor, can visit them at night and magically fill their boots with chocolate and sweets! Occasionally, some lucky kids will also get a little bit of money. This is parallel to hanging a sock above your chimney for Santa Clause for other European countries.
4. TVs in Sweden Air Donald Duck As A Christmas Special Every Year
In Sweden, there is no Christmas without Donald Duck. Every year since 1959, TV1 (a broadcasting channel in Sweden), will air a Donald Duck special called, “Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Families everywhere gather by their TV at 3pm on Christmas Eve!
5. Austrian Parents Tell Tales Of A Christmas Demon To Their Children
Austrian children fear Krampus, the half-goat, half-demon who literally disciplines naughty children using sticks. To imagine how Krampus looks, he has big horns, dark hair, fangs, and a long tongue. He also wears a chain and bells that ring as he swats the naughty children before dragging them with him back to the underworld. Just thinking about it will probably make you shiver!
Those are some wacky traditions you will see around the world. Maybe you can even start some of your own strange Christmas practices here in your own home! Time to get thinking!