Christmas traditions that may surprise you

Christmas traditions that may surprise you
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Christmas traditions from around the world that may surprise you.

People around the world celebrate Christmas in many different ways, some of which may surprise you. Across the world some traditions remain the same though such as decorating a Christmas tree, singing carols, opening advent calendars and eating too much.

Some of the more bizarre Christmas traditions include Kentucky fried chicken and having rotten potatoes placed in your shoes.


If you spend Christmas in Japan, then the family Christmas dinner comes with a difference. Rather than a traditional turkey dinner, people head to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). The company launched a Christmas campaign called “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” or “Kentucky for Christmas!” in 1974 and it seems to have stuck. Many people order their food months in advance to avoid long queues. Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan but many people still celebrate it.

If young ones have misbehaved in Iceland they could find their shoes full of rotten potatoes at Christmas. Iceland celebrates Christmas with the 13 Yule Lads visiting children over 13 nights. When the children head upstairs to bed they first pop their shoes by the window. The children hope that their shoes will be filled with candy overnight meaning that they have been good. If they have been bad though the children will find their shoes have been filled with rotten potatoes instead.

Christmas in Barbados is said to be tasty and is not complete without a glazed baked ham, a Scottish inspired dish called the Jug Jug and a rum cake.

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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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