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    From Roller Skating to Diving: Top 8 Weird Christmas Traditions Worldwide

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    Christmas is celebrated in many countries around the world, but Christmas traditions differ from place to place.

    Below are several weird Christmas rituals which people follow on Christmas Eve.

    1. Christmas in Japan

    As surprisingly as it might seem, all Japanese want to celebrate Christmas in KFC restaurants. The place is so popular that people have to make reservations several weeks in advance.

    2. Christmas in Norway

    Norwegians believe that Christmas evil spirits may come to their homes. So, before going to bed, Norwegians hide their brooms to prevent witches and evil spirits from their arrival.

    3. Christmas in Caracas

    The Christmas tradition of the residents of Caracas seems to be even more unusual. One week before Christmas, they attend a church service on roller skates.

    4. Christmas in Austria

    One of the most distinctive and scary Christmas characters is the daemon Krampus. According to Austrian tales, he hunts naughty children from November to January. During this period, Austrian men dress like Krampus to scare children and force them to behave well. The Catholic Church and the Austrian government tried to eliminate the tradition, but it still remains very popular among the people.

    Vintage Christmas Krampus Postcard, Krampus stealing babies and taking them to Spain.
    © Flickr / Dave
    Vintage Christmas Krampus Postcard, Krampus stealing babies and taking them to Spain.

    5. Christmas in Ukraine

    Some Ukrainians put an artificial spider web on their Christmas trees as a sign of good luck. The tradition goes back to a legend about a poor widow and her children who had no money and nothing to decorate their Christmas tree with. The woman cried out of despair that night, but the spider family that lived in her house heard it and felt sorry for her. They covered the whole tree with their web and in the morning when the sun went up, the tree was shining and shimmering in silver and gold.

    6. Christmas in Italy

    One of the most important Christmas symbols in Italy is La Befana the witch. According to local tradition, she, not Santa, is the main supplier of gifts for Italian children.

    La Befana, an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve.
    © Flickr / Simone Zucchelli
    La Befana, an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve.

    7. Christmas in Estonia

    Estonian families go to the sauna on Christmas Eve. It is an old tradition, but many Estonians follow it nowadays and head to the sauna after preparing their homes for the festive dinner.

    8. Christmas in Britain

    Many British residents mark Christmas and New Year by diving into cold water. However, specialists have repeatedly said that the ritual requires certain physical preparation and is too dangerous for ordinary people.

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