How 13 Different Countries Celebrate Christmas

by Martinique Jobin

It's almost Christmas, and according to some people, it's "the most wonderful time of the year."

But, why is that? Because we cover our trees with spider webs and go to church in roller blades? Or, maybe because we eat caterpillars and KFC? Wait, no? Well, that's what tradition calls for in some countries.

Here are Christmas celebrations that can't be found in the US:

The Czech Republic

You know how people hate being single on the holidays? Well, single Czech women are no different. On Christmas Eve, it's tradition for Czech women to put their backs to the house door and throw a shoe over their shoulders.

If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, then she might as well cancel her Tinder account and buy up some more cats. But, if the front of the shoe points to the door, then she kisses her parents goodbye and gets to planning a wedding that will trump Kim K's!


Brooms and similar cleaning items are all hidden away, and men fire their guns into the night on Christmas Eve in Norway. According to ancient belief, this is primetime for witches and evil spirits to emerge.

Here you thought "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was just a figment of Tim Burton's imagination.


Christmas in Aussie land falls in the summer time. So, it makes sense that they have BBQs and -- wait for it --- motherf*cking kangaroos in their Christmas traditions.

Yup, Santa swaps his reindeer for "six white boomers" or kangaroos or even rides over on a surfboard. Nice one, mate!


Some Armenians choose to fast the week before Christmas. Then, they break their fast with a light Christmas Eve meal called "khetum," which includes rice, fish, chickpeas, yogurt soup, dried nuts and grape jelly desserts.

So, if you want to avoid weight gain this holiday season, maybe consider heading to Armenia.

South Africa

Why have eggnog and pumpkin pie when you can celebrate Christmas by eating plump, fuzzy caterpillars, aka Emperor Moths? Don't worry, they're fried in oil, so you know it's good... right?


The Ukrainians use fake spider webs to cover their trees.

Why? According to legend, a poor widower had no money to decorate the family's tree. Some friendly spiders were grief-stricken when they saw the widow and her crying children, so at night, when everyone was asleep, they decorated the tree with silver and gold.

After that, the poor family became prosperous, lucky and never had a financial woe, ever again. Thus, a spider web-covered tree signifies prosperity and wealth for the next year.

This Christmas, I'm covering my tree, my house, my dogs and my brother in Halloween's fake spider webs!


On Christmas Eve, Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, closes down its streets so everyone and anyone can make their way to church. In roller blades. 'Nuff said.


You'd think pooping and farting humor stops after the age of 6, but not in the Spanish region of Catalonia.

The humor lives on in the form of a character called Caga Tio, which means pooping log. Basically, Spanish children will feed the log in hopes that it'll grow bigger.

Meanwhile, parents will swap the log for bigger logs, and on Christmas Day, the family gathers round to sing it songs to help it defecate ... presents!


The amount of Christians in India amounts to only 2.3 percent of its population. But, wait, India is one of the most populous countries in the world, meaning that translates to 25 million people who celebrate Christmas.

Due to lack of fir and pine trees in the region, Indians use banana or mango trees as a substitute.


You won't find stockings hanging on chimneys in the Philippines. Rather, kids will polish their shoes and leave them by the window sills, so when the Three Kings walk by at night, they'll leave presents.


Rather than milk and cookies for Santa, it's all about Christmas pudding made with Guinness or Irish Whiskey. This tradition also carries over to the UK.

Thanks to the high alcohol content, it can lasts for months on end, even to next Christmas. And, getting a good buzz from sweets never killed anybody. I don't think...


Maybe you thought Pikachu came to homes in Japan to drop off some sushi and saki bombs for a festive meal. Wrong!

Thanks (or no thanks) to a successful campaign run in the 70s, many Japanese people go to the one and only Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to get their grub on.

Because what's better than a turkey or roast? Fried chicken, that's what!


There is an actual postal code used in Canada to send letters to the North Pole: H0H 0H0. Unfortunately, since there is no centralized address, thousand of volunteers help out the Canada Post to respond to the letters received, even in Braille. #FaithInHumanityRestored

Please Note: These are general tales for the countries' traditions and not every citizen necessarily country participates.

Nevertheless, whether you indulge the above or not, everyone has traditions, and it's always fun to share in the festivities of the holiday season.