Sick of conventional Christmas dinners and hectic holiday shopping? Time to ditch the turkey and try out these quirky ways of celebrating Christmas – from food-throwing to caroling in a sauna and going to Christmas mass on rollerblades. They might sound a little over-the-top but believe it or not, these are weird Christmas traditions from around the world. So if goofing around on Christmas is your style, check out these alternative ways to spend Christmas.
Photo from mymodernmet.com
1. Tossing Food in Slovakia and Ukraine
The messiest Christmas tradition in the world is possibly food-tossing in Slovakia and Ukraine. As the Christmas Eve dinner begins, the head of the family starts the food fight by tossing loksa onto the ceiling. Loksa is a traditional dish made from bread, poppy seed and water; and can get quite lardy and messy. And that’s not just it: it is believed that the more loksa you toss onto the ceiling, the more crops the family will harvest in the coming year. So if you’re ever in this part of the world, be sure to join in a local family’s celebration to witness the world’s messiest Christmas tradition.
2. On the Beach in Thailand
So the heat is sweltering and the sun’s blazing, where better to celebrate the festive season than on the beach in Thailand? Although Thais don’t have the tradition of celebrating Christmas, you can be sure to experience a very different Christmas in the tropics, sipping mojitos on your trip to Thailand. Forget about the snow and mulled wine; the sunny weather coupled with some frosty beers make the perfect Christmas. Father Christmas will even make an appearance along the beaches on Christmas Eve. Opting for Phuket or a blazing snowed-in Christmas at home – you decide!
3. On Rollerblades in Venezuela
In the capital of Venezuela, Caracas, there is an interestingly unusual way of celebrating Christmas. The streets in Caracas are closed off every Christmas Eve to allow people to attend early Christmas Mass on roller-skates. A big city with bustling traffic, this way you’re sure to get to the church on time for Christmas mass! By night, instead of Christmas caroling, you’ll hear loud drum rolls that signify the arrival of baby Jesus. Just at the strike of midnight, the entire city shouts, “Jesus is born!” and fireworks light up the sky.
One of the oldest holiday traditions in Estonia is the Christmas Eve sauna – where families gather in a 55degC sauna and chug down vodkas and Christmas delights. What’s more, Estonians usually go completely nude in the sauna (yes, not a single piece of clothing!), imagine a nude Christmas sauna with the folks! After the sauna session, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself are spent fortune telling, predicting the following year’s weather and harvest.
5. Dine with Ghosts in Portugal
In Portugal, families reunite for a massive feast also known as consoada, on Christmas Eve. What’s special, however, is that families set out extra places on the table and invite dead family spirits to join them for the meal. Traditional dishes like codfish, Portuguese sprouts and pumpkin fritters are also dished up to the deceased family members. Unfortunately, with modernization, not many families practice it these days.
6. Enjoying a Barbie in Australia
While the whole of the Northern Hemisphere is blanketed in snow, head down under for Christmas in the blazing heat! Sure, you can head to Papua New Guinea or Ecuador but only in Australia can you find such outrageous Christmas barbeques. The Aussies call them ‘barbies’ and often have them on the beach at Christmas. Santa Claus is sometimes depicted wearing swimming trunks instead of a red wool suit, and cold drinks and foods are left out for him on Christmas Eve instead of milk and cookies.
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