The world of Christmas traditions

Azimo are an international company with staff from all over the world so we asked ourselves, “what are the oddest Christmas customs we know about?”

We’ve illustrated our faves – we hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Iceland has a huge evil cat which eats people who aren’t wearing new clothes.

Sounds unfair but if those people had helped with the local wool industry they’d have received these clothes as gifts.

In Japan they eat KFC for Christmas dinner – basically a 70s advertising campaign went really well and it become a tradition; families book tables and celebrate Kentucky Fried Christmas!

In Finland people sleep on the floor at Christmas and let ghosts have their beds. It’s not Lapland it’s napland…

The Portuguese and Spanish also enjoy Christmas with ghosts. During “consoda”, the traditional Christmas feast, families will occasionally set extra places at the dining table for deceased relatives.

Who’s betting Dad eats two dinners when no one is looking?

In Sweden they build a big straw goat and each year some vandals burn it down. Hooray! Although one year it was hit by a car instead. These days gamblers place money on how long it’ll last.

Santa has the postcode H0H 0H0 in Canada. This is also a useful postcode for filling in web forms.

Norwegians hide their brooms at Christmas as they believe that Christmas Eve coincides with the arrival of evil spirits and witches.

Ukrainians decorate their trees with spider webs. (Actually this might not be true as 12% of all internet comments on articles like these are from baffled Ukrainians).

In Germany and Austria there’s an anti-Santa called Krampus who hunts streets looking for naughty kids to punish. For some reason the internet goes mad for this tradition.

In Catalonia people celebrate with the decoration ‘Caganer’ – a small boy sitting and doing a poo.

Also Catalonia have a pooing log that defecates presents. Catalonia is very keen on poo for some reason.

Some British people go for a cold dip – a few foolhardy Londoners leap into the Serpentine on Hyde Park and Brighton beach is also popular although no one in our UK office knows anyone who’s done this. Brrr.

Iceland celebrate christmas with 13 dwarves called the Yule Lads – the best ones are called Window Peeper and Sausage Swiper.

In India they decorate Banana or Mango trees because they don’t have pine trees – they even decorate bunches of bananas! Sounds delicious!

In Mexico they have “The night of the radishes” where locals carve radishes – there’s even prizes for the best ones.

And the UK is of course all about the alcohol, where people leave out a strong drink for Santa which might or might not actually be drunk by Dad. Hic!

Merry Christmas everyone from all at Azimo!