Unusual Christmas Traditions
Have you ever been five rounds into an aggressive game of cards, a few sherry's in or one mis-step away from toppling over at Twister? You may have cast a thought as to how peculiar your family's Christmas traditions may look to an outside observer and of course from that we can't exclude traditions found at many hotels. Oxfordshire certainly has a few niche traditions of its own and it's almost guaranteed that someone, somewhere, is celebrating in a much more bizarre and unusual way. Here are our favorite wacky and weird Christmas traditions from around the world.
KFC for dinner?
You might already be planning a healthy serving of turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings for your Christmas dinner - but in Japan, thanks to several very successful marketing campaigns, KFC is the go-to food to celebrate the festive season. The tradition started in the 1970's when tourists opted to eat the fast food delicacy instead of the traditional turkey dinner - with a little advertising this became a hit with the locals who adopted the trend. We think Oxfordshire hotels like ours will be sticking to the conventional Christmas lunch for the time being!
The Burning Goat
In Gävle, Sweden, they celebrate the start of advent by erecting a giant straw goat in the town square. The impressive animal is usually only around briefly however, as another strange “tradition” has been to burn it to the ground. The goat has been successfully destroyed almost every year since its first appearance in 1966, despite continued efforts from the Swedish authorities.
It's common for many homes in Finland to be furnished with their own sauna, and at Christmas these become sacred places associated with the deceased. On Christmas Eve it's tradition to strip off and spend an extended time reflecting, before heading out to the evening celebrations and letting the spirits of your ancestors take your place.
You might have fond memories as a child of the jolly man in red who delivers goodwill and cheer, but the same can't be said for kids in Austria. A ghoulish, terrifying creature called 'Krampus' (the evil accomplice of St Nick) is said to roam the streets in search of badly behaved children. Expect lots of masked figures to be out scaring kids during the festive season with lots of pranks and mischief.