Christmas is a time filled with parties, large meals and gifts. Many people take the opportunity to spend the holidays with family and there is a general feeling of increased cheer.
Weird Christmas rituals and customs
There is a strange tradition of going to wake up friends in the wee hours of the morning, bringing them music and smashing whatever food and drink they have in their kitchen cupboards.
According to legend, witches and evil spirits roam the streets before Christmas. Witches, yes, although we more often associate them with Halloween. That’s why Norwegian families hide all brooms before bedtime to prevent witches and spirits from having a means of propulsion.
At Christmas, there is a breakfast called “consoda”. The peculiarity is that extra dishes are given to deceased relatives in the hope that their “souls in sorrow” will in turn bring happiness to surviving relatives.
Finding spider webs tangled in the branches of a Christmas tree is believed to bring luck. It has also become popular to mix artificial cobwebs with other decorations such as lights and ornaments because no one wants to be exempt from good luck.
In addition to a visit from Santa Claus, they also receive a visit from his double, the Krampus, who is in charge of carrying out the misbehaving children in a sack a few days before Christmas. To honor this tradition, young people dress up as Krampus, scaring children as they parade through the streets carrying bells and sticks.
There are several curious traditions practiced in various parts of Spain.
One of these, which has gained particular popularity in Catalonia, is the inclusion of the figure of a squatting man with his buttocks exposed as if pooping, close to, but somewhat hidden from, Joseph, Mary, the Child, the Kings, the shepherds and the oxen.
Some of the most widely accepted explanations for such an unusual custom is the idea that, as the figure with its feces fertilizes the earth, it represents prosperity and good fortune for the coming year.
Lately, they have become more inventive and now you can buy managers with the faces of celebrities from the world of politics, show business and sports for up to $20 each figure.
Other regions of Spain also stuff tree trunks with candy and gifts. To release the surprises inside on Christmas Eve, the trunk must be shaken like a “piñata”.