Tag Archives | folk traditions

Weird Christmas Traditions

Colonel kami-samaHere 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.

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New Year’s: Enter The Namahage

We discussed Krampus two weeks ago. The New Year's equivalent is Japan's Namahage, another colorful folk tradition that's all about scarring kids for life. From Wikipedia:
Namahage is a Japanese ritual which is observed...in northern Honshū, Japan. On New Year's Eve, a group of young men dressed up as fierce bogeymen, Namahage, visit each house in the village, shouting: "any misbehaving kids live here?" They then scare children, telling them not to be lazy or cry, though little children often do burst into tears.Then the parents will assure the Namahage that there is no bad child in their house, and give food or traditional alcoholic beverages to the demons.
Below, some kids get a visit from the Namahage:
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