Love to travel and experience new cultures? Why not bring some of the wanderlust home this holiday season? The Huffington Post Travel pulled together some pretty unique Christmas traditions that occur around the world.
Break out of your comfort zone this season and really experience the world – without even leaving home!
In South Africa, the locals have a feast like no other. They deep-fry the caterpillar of the Emperor Moth as part of their Christmas feast. Feeling adventurous?
Who dun it?
In Germany the parents hid a pickle somewhere on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The first child to discover the pickle gets a special gift on Christmas Day. The question is…dill or gerkin?
No lights and tinsel here
Are you over the traditional Christmas tree? Learn from the people of New Zealand. They decorate a Potuhukawa tree instead of the traditional variety of Christmas tree species.
If that is just too mainstream for you and you really want to switch it up this year, grab your Halloween decorations from the attic. In the Ukraine the citizens traditionally decorate their trees with an artificial spider and its web. It’s a really sweet story of why.
Take off those dancin’ shoes
In the Czech Republic, unmarried women stand at a door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the shoe is pointing toward the door when it lands, they will get married in the next year. Really, who needs to wait until wedding season to catch the bouquet?
The Twelve Days of Christmas takes on new life in Iceland. The Icelandic children leave their shoes on a window sill for the 12 days of Christmas. Every night a Yule lad comes down from the mountains to leave gifts and sweets for the good children. If the child is bad, the Yule lad leaves a raw potato instead. What? No Elf on the Shelf?
Want some of that figgy pudding?
There is nothing better in the holidays than a good ol’ fashion food fight. In Slovakia, they take it to new heights – literally. The most senior man in the household throws a wooden spoonful of loksa pudding at the ceiling. The more that sticks, the better the luck for the family in the coming year.
In Great Britain, they are more reserved with their Christmas pudding. The old tradition says that each member of the family must stir the Christmas pudding in a clockwise motion, prior to it being cooked, while making a wish. No shooting star or birthday candles needed.
Looking to be married next year? You could cross your fingers and hope you find the peeled almond in your rice pudding – as long as you are in Sweden. Dive in and good luck!