Gingerbread, a wreath on the door, and sometimes even such an intricate thing as the Advent calendar have long become international, like Catholic Christmas itself. But many countries have their own traditions associated with this holiday. Sometimes cute, sometimes unusual, and sometimes – well, very original, straight to the point. Pre-holiday “Subtlety” selected seven of the most interesting for you. 0j/5n/0j5nwldlqf20wcsowg4ocwk88.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
1. Toilet characters in Catalonia
Catalan nativity scenes always have
kaganer– a figurine of a person who relieves himself somewhere away from the rest of the participants in the action. It is believed that it brings good luck. This “hero in the process” is sold with might and main in souvenir shops, and celebrities and politicians often act in his role. The inhabitants of Catalonia are happy to buy these characters and decorate their homes with them on the eve of the holiday. One kaganer was not enough for the Catalans and they favorably set off his kagatio(loosely translated – “pooping log”). It is a hollow wooden log with legs and a painted face. Before Christmas, gifts and sweets are put into it, and it produces all this goodness under the joyful cries of children who shake the stump, beat it with wooden spoons. Accompanying everything with peppy cries: “What, log!”. And not even “kakai”, but rather a shorter version of the order, much less bookish, but more energetic.
2. Mass roller skating in Venezuela
A week before Christmas, Venezuelans attend the morning mass: in Caracas, it is customary to ride roller skates to this church service. To secure the passage of believers, the administration on this day closes roads for vehicles until 8 am. There is no other way – too many skaters pour out (more precisely, roll out) onto the freeways, which makes traffic dangerous, especially considering that a good half of them put on skates only once a year.
3. One-day vegetarianism in Italy
According to the Italian tradition, on Christmas Eve, you should give up meat. Many people prefer to make do with pasta, rice and vegetables on this day. The idea is quite sensible:
giorno di magro (fast day) really helps to unload the stomach before the big holiday on December 25, when many families in Italy arrange a real feast with mountains of meat and fish. 4. Buckets of KFC in Japan
While the Italians are eating meat, the Japanese are queuing at KFC restaurants for buckets of fried wings and thighs. Since 1974, this fast food chain has been running a pre-Christmas advertising campaign in Japan, focusing on Colonel Sanders' famous fried chicken. Actually, they do this in all countries, but it was in Japan that they somehow managed to make a real holiday fetish out of an ordinary dish. Buckets of chicken meat are so popular that orders are taken months before Christmas, and on December 25, long queues line up at KFC restaurants.
5. Christmas trolls in Iceland
In Iceland, instead of the banal Santa, real trolls give gifts to good children (and they don’t look so good). There are 13 of them at once and they have strange names: Meat Hook, Stump, Lizoblud and others. There is even a Sausage Eater who steals sausages from houses, and a Peeper who looks through windows looking for valuables. On the night of December 12, it is customary for Icelandic children to put their shoes on the windowsill. They do this in the hope that the Christmas trolls will leave some gift in their shoes for them.
6. Christmas caterpillars in South Africa
While mince pies, turkey and Christmas pudding are eaten at the holiday table around the rest of the world, the highlight in South Africa is a dish of a completely different kind. These are fried caterpillars of one species, which are specially collected for the holiday in pine groves. It seems that the point here is not in the outstanding taste, but rather in the bright, truly festive color of the Christmas caterpillar. And also – in the confidence of the locals that everyone who has tasted caterpillars (caterpillars?) in the coming year will be lucky.