With Christmas around the corner, you are most likely done with the shopping and have the festive menu decided. If not, you’d better hurry – leave yourself a few days of “respiro” before the holiday, to recover after a long year of work and stress. “Me time” is important, no matter if you spend it reading a book or planning to go on a royal vegas casino cruise next year. And while you relax, let me put a smile on your face with these three weird and wacky Christmas traditions.
Have a shitty Christmas – literally!
One of the most interesting Christmas traditions comes from Catalonia, the most prosperous region of Spain. The Catalans seem to have a thing for fecal matter – which, by the way, is one of the best fertilizers known to man. Their fascination for turd might have something to do with fertility and next year’s rich crops. Or all the ethnographers might be wrong, and it can all come down to making fun. Whichever the case, the Caganer (loosely translates as “the crapper”) – a crouching figurine with its pants down, in the process of creating a pile – and its festive cousin, Tió de Nadal (Christmas log, with a face painted on it, also fertilizing the land) are long time traditions in Catalonia. And the trend has “oozed” out of the region, too – it can be observed in other regions of Spain, in Italy and France, and in Portugal, too.
The Rumpke Sanitary Landfill near Cincinnati has started a weird Christmas tradition. It may well be a marketing stunt, or an initiative to draw attention to how much garbage we produce, but the fact remains: the company decorates the mounds of garbage each year with over 30,000 Christmas lights. It’s an impressive – and most likely “fragrant” – display, considering that the 234 acre landfill has mounds of trash up to 280 feet high. And don’t forget the candy canes – they are 25 foot tall!
Festive with a bang!
Next stop: the UK. For many, the whole country looks weird – their traditions, their weather and even their foods are quite different from what we’re used to. Why should Christmas traditions be different? While loud noises are customary all over the world during New Year’s Eve, the British have a less noisy version for the Christmas table. Crackers – which resemble a giant sweet wrapper – are pulled by two people, sometimes with their arms crossed. When the cracker splits, it emits a bang-like noise. Various things are hidden inside these crackers – usually paper crowns, worn during the Christmas dinner, but there can be small toys, trinkets, jokes or riddles.