Here at disinformation HQ we’ve long been fans of Saturnalia and Winter Solstice celebrations, and there’s a strong pro-Krampus faction to boot. There are some holiday traditions we haven’t adopted yet, however, like eating KFC for Christmas. A fine roundup from iol:
JAPAN: Chicken and cake:
Christmas is a time for joy, celebration… and KFC?
The Colonel’s chicken is a festive season must-have in Japan. It’s a tradition that began 40 years ago and, true to Japanese culture, has been passed down. More than 240 000 barrels of chicken will be sold, about four to five times the regular monthly sales.
And what would follow a takeaway Christmas lunch better than fruit cake? Covered in whipped cream, chocolate and strawberries, these highly coveted cakes have to be ordered months in advance. And any not sold after December 25 are unwanted. Unmarried women older than 25 were once called “Christmas cakes”, although this is out of favour.
SWITZERLAND: Santa champs:
Since November 2011, men and women from across the globe have dressed up like old Saint Nick to duke it out in the Santa World Championship at the Samnaum Resort.
Teams of four compete in 10 events during the “ClauWau” – including snow sculpting, gingerbread house decorating, chimney climbing and sleigh racing, over two days.
A crowd favourite is Santa’s chimney climb in which teams compete to drop bags of gifts down chimneys.
CZECH REPUBLIC & SLOVAKIA: Wedding bells:
Many of us have had to endure the Yuletide on our own at one point or another. But fear not, there is a solution.
Stand with your back to the door and throw a shoe over your shoulder on Christmas Day. If the shoe lands with the toe pointing towards the door, then congratulations, wedding bells may be heard within the near future. If not, gear yourself for yet another year alone – and try again next Christmas.
UKRAINE: A creepy Christmas:
Put away your ornaments and deck the Christmas tree with spiders and cobwebs.
Well, the spiders aren’t real, but you get the point. According to legend, a woman was heartbroken when she couldn’t afford to decorate a tree for her children. But when the family woke up the next morning, the tree was covered in spider webs.
When the light from the morning sun hit the threads of the webs, they turned to gold and silver, and the family were not left wanting again…
[more at iol]