The Christmas is celebrated throughout the world as the holy birthday of Jesus Christ. Although there is no such date mentioned in the Holy Bible, still it is popularly observed as a joyous festival globally. In the 4th Century, Pope Julius I made this 25th December as Christmas celebration day in an attempt to convert many pagan midwinter festivals into Christianity. Christmas, then after, has been made to be the collection of many rituals and practices which came from winter season traditions, old pagan customs, and some origins are yet to be identified. There are many which have been made into practice just for the commercial purpose to enhance business!
Across the world, Christmas is observed by people with their own festival practices. Some of them are common, funny and joyful; some are weird and hard to find any root with the holy spirit of Jesus. Bringing a Fur or Pine tree and decorate it as a Christmas tree is the mid-European winter festival tradition, especially from the regions where everything gets covered under snow around the Alps or in Balkan. Hanging lanterns, eating fatty foods are also the common culture in festivals in comparatively cold and wintery regions. A lot of strange practices came from pagan conventions like Krampus or the Caga log and a lot of modern-day traditions have been created for the business like KFC obviousness at Japan etc.
Let us discuss 5 most weird Christmas traditions that have no significance with the Holy Bible or Jesus Christ:
This is most popular weird tradition, mostly observed in Austria and mid-Europe. Krampus is the evil demon or anti-Santa personified character that is ugliest, fearful and roams with a stick with an intention to beat up everyone he finds. St. Nicholas or Santa Claus is the most popular tradition for the good and Krampus is for bad. In this part of the world or where Krampus tradition is observed, Santa is portrayed as a carrot for good behavior and Krampus iconize with a stick to beat up bad children. People dress up with horrific masks and costumes, roam around with a stick to beat up whom he finds. Krampus night is also observed on 5th December, on the same eve of St. Nicholas Day.
2.el Caga TiÃ³:
This is a very Catalan custom, mostly found in Catalan, Spain, and many places in England and southern Europe. The Caga TiA means “the pooping log”. This is a hollowed log with legs and face. This one may be a good Christmas gift idea. It is brought on 8th of December and started “feeding” on and from that day until Christmas. Here feeding means passing on food items into the hollow log. On the Christmas eve, it is put in the fireplace and beaten up with sticks by every one of the family by singing a ritual song. On beating, it drops out all the food item that was fed, the candies, fruits, nuts till the last object like a salted herring, a garlic bulb or an onion.
The Caganer is nothing but a statue in a posture of defecating. It is a very old tradition in Spain, Italy and Portugal and their native states in Northern Africa. The Cagner statue comes as a local common man or made alike some famous mystic or historic character. It is kept in a corner of the room allowing privacy for defecating, keeping a far distance from Mother Mary and many more saints. No actual explanation has been found for such a century-long weird custom till date.
Zwarte Piet or Black Peter is the helper or Slave of Sinterklaas (Santa Claus). The procession of Santa’s arrival with Peter by steamboat is still observed in many cities. Around the middle of 19th century, children who used to behave badly were threatened of `1being kidnapped to Spain by Black Peter. The custom carries too much racism in it and became less in practice nowadays.
5.KFC in Japan:
Japan, though it is a land of rich culture and convention goes weird with KFC on this particular Christmas Eve. KFC Japan started to promote Fried Chicken as Christmas meal on and from December 1974. On and from then, on Christmas Eve, you will find numerous Japanese are standing on a cue outside a KFC outlet to get a table, eat out or the very best for Christmas gift idea. With the slogan “Kentucky for Christmas”, Japan has made eating KFC in Christmas as a wide-spread convention. This one is the largest business sourced tradition of Christmas.
There are so many weird conventions of Christmas like the German tradition of Pickle Ornament where the children found to be the luckiest who is first to find the green pickle ornament tucked on the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, the American tradition of TV Yule Log of burning logs on Christmas eve, Wales pagan tradition of the Mari Lwyd where verse fight takes place on a pub door between two parties with a man decorated as a horse, which all are also famous, funny and weird, however, could not be discussed here with details for lack of time and space.
Hope, we could discuss on more on another day. Be it weird or not, if it is not hurting anyone, enjoy your Christmas traditions!