3 Wonderfully Odd Christmas Traditions Around the World
1. Gavle Goat, Sweden
Each year in the centre of Gavle’s Castle Square, a 13-metre-tall Yule Goat is built as a Christmas symbol that dates back to ancient Pagan festivals. A looming statue that brings Yuletide cheer, it has sparked a new “festivity” within the town. Since 1966, playful vandals have tried to burn the Yule Goat to ashes. As a “tradition” within the Swedish culture, the goat has been successful burnt 29 times, with the most recent “sacrificed Goat” occurring in 2016. The Goat survived unscathed the following year’s thanks to the city’s effort to stop the crime.
2. Krampus, Austria
Similar to a second Halloween, young men dress up each year as the Krampus, a half-goat and half-demon horrific beast, to haunt the town and scare the naughty kids in December. In true Austrian Christmas tradition, St. Nicholas is a kindly man who rewards the good children while his merciless counterpart Krampus punishes the bad. You better watch out, and you better not cry!
3. KFC Dinner, aka Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
Recently, the KFC feast has become a nationwide Yuletide tradition in Japan. Japanese families order fried chicken weeks in advance in order to to be part of the tradition. This quirky festive “tradition” is largely thanks to the clever marketing done by KFC in Japan. Their Christmas meal contains more than just the typical fried chicken known of the eatery. Many festive sets also include cakes, ribs and roast stuffed chicken. The “party barrel” experience can even be enjoyed accompanied by a wine pairing – yes, we mean a premium occasion at a fast-food chain restaurant!