Posted 1st December 2017 | By Amelia Eckersley, Search Engine Marketing Specialist

traditional christmas table

For most, Christmas is awesome. No matter who you are or where you’re from, there really is an undeniable sense of community spirit in the air. It’s fair to say that how one family do Christmas day isn’t necessarily the same as how another will (let’s not get into the Christmas lunch or Christmas dinner debate). Many other countries, that celebrate Christmas are no different – there is no ‘one size that fits all’ when it comes to this exciting time of the year.

Christmas traditions vary and different cultures around the world celebrate this fun-filled day in different ways. We compiled some of the most bizarre, yet wonderful Christmas celebrations for you to feast your eyes on.

Gävle goat – Sweden

gavle goat

This goat has been standing proudly in Gavle’s Slottstorget in Sweden since 1966. The goat is built by the local community and 18,000 visitors come from far and wide to see this Christmas attraction. Although varying from year to year, the goat stands at approximately 13 metres tall and 7 metres long. Constructed using straw, the Gävle goat is made from 12,000 knots and 1,200 metres of timber.

Unfortunately, this giant straw replica of a traditional yule goat has been damaged 37 times – it’s been burnt down most years since it was erected. However, this doesn’t stop the goat from being a symbol of Christmas in Sweden.

Christmas caterpillars – South Africa

christmas caterpillars

In South Africa, it is a Christmas tradition to sun dry and deep fry the caterpillars of the Emperor Moth. Dry turkey doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?

Día de las Velitas (Little Candles’ Day) – Colombia

little candles day

In honour of the Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception, homes and streets across Colombia glow - hundreds of thousands of people across Colombia take part and candles are traditionally placed in windows, on balconies, front gardens and town centres. Often, neighbourhoods compete to create the most beautiful arrangements.

Tió de Nadal – Catalonia

tio de nadal

The Christmas log is one of the more arbitrary Christmas celebrations. Known as the Tió de Nadal, a log is hollowed out, decorated with a face, two legs and a hat and is placed by the fire. Each day running up to Christmas (from the 8th December), the families ‘feed’ the log and wrap it up with a blanket. Children are told to look after their log in the days running up to Christmas in the hope that it will give out presents on Christmas Day. The children then beat the Tió with sticks whilst singing traditional songs. They’re then told by their parents to leave the room to pray whilst the adults fill the log with presents. The children then return to the excitement of a Christmas log that’s given out presents for them.

The Yule Lads – Iceland

the yule lads

Jólasveinarnir or, The Yule Lads, are characters in Icelandic folklore. This merry band of Christmas characters are similar to Santa Claus. Each of The Yule Lads have a cheeky and mischievous persona that are reflected in their names. For example, one is called Hurðaskellir (door-slammer) who loves to wake local people up by slamming doors throughout the night.

They roam the streets during the 13 nights before Christmas and place presents into the shoes of children who have left them out in the hope they’ll receive a treat - or a rotten potato if they’ve not been good.

Did you know about these crazy Christmas traditions? Keep your eye on ExtraMile’s social media channel tomorrow – behind day two’s door, we’ll be revealing the weird and wonderful searches made on Google.


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