Here at Zipcar HQ, we've been thinking about those Christmas traditions that really get you scratching your head. We thought you might like to hear about some of the stranger traditions across the globe (if our online research is to be believed!)
In the UK we tend to crack open the big barrels of chocolates and sharing packs of nuts on Christmas morning. Over in South Africa however, the Christmas morning treats are slightly different - who's for a deep-fried caterpillar for breakfast?
We all know the story of the Nativity, with baby Jesus, shepherds and wise men often depicted throughout many households at this time of year. In Catalonia, however, the figure of "Caganer" is often included in nativity scenes - a small figure of a defecating man believed to have entered originally in the late 17th century.
Hate the idea of cleaning during the holiday season? In Norway, cleaning is forbidden on Christmas Eve (they even hide all the brooms!) And do you doubt the power of advertising? In Japan, many families eat KFC on Christmas Eve due to a particularly successful campaign in 1974.
Mass is something that a lot of people attend across the world, usually driving to the Church as a family. In the Venezuelan capital Caracas however, it is customary to arrive on roller skates. Better hope there’s no ice on the roads!
How about a Christmas Pickle? In Germany it is traditional to hide a pickle in the tree on Christmas Eve – the first child to find it receives a small gift, usually Marzipan.
Tinsel getting up your nose (and around your toes)? In Ukraine, it is customary to decorate your Christmas tree with an artificial spider and web – spooky!
If you’re one for superstition, maybe the Czech Republic is the place for you. Unmarried women supposedly throw a shoe over their shoulder whilst stood by a door. If the toe lands pointing towards the door, it is said they will get married within the next year. Or how about Slovakia, where the patriarch of the family throws a spoonful of loksa pudding at the ceiling. The more pudding that sticks to the pudding, the better the luck they will have.
Finally, Santa Claus’ arrival isn’t awaited in every country. In Italy, children eagerly await the arrival of “Befana” – a friendly witch who delivers sweets and toys on 5th January.
Do your family have any other unique traditions? Tell us about them in the comments section below!