Strange Christmas Traditions Around the World

The commercialism surrounding American holidays grows exponentially each year, and most companies are already hawking their Christmas wares come Halloween. But at the heart of all this gross merchandising are traditions that were established centuries ago. Around the world, Christmas celebrations take radically different forms, and some might seem totally bizarre — as if idolizing an old guy who rides flying reindeer and hangs out with elves were totally normal. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite unusual Christmas traditions that involve witches, demons, and… fast food, below.

Image credit: Perchtenlauf Klagenfurt

Image credit: Perchtenlauf Klagenfurt


What better way to celebrate the holiday than to worship a hairy, pre-Christian era demon? Think of devil Krampus as the anti-Saint Nicholas. Instead of delivering gifts to good boys and girls, Krampus brings naughty children coal or carries them off in his sack. People around the world celebrated Krampusnacht on December 6 — the only night of the year you can see a beastly creature parading the streets in search of people to devour.