Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Christmas is celebrated all over the world, but every community has developed its own unique holiday traditions.Some are sweet, but others strike us as downright strange.
We’ve gathered up some of our favourite Christmas traditions from around the globe. Did we leave yours out? Let us know in the comments.
It's summer down under on Christmas Day. Temperatures in December are between 68 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
So Santa pulls up on the beach on his surfboard. The country had a devastating Christmas in 1974, when Cyclone Tracy came through the Northern Territory and more than 60 people were killed.
In Austria, December is a time for festive events and frights.
Young men walk around dressed up as the Krampus, a devil-demon creature equipped with cowbells and rods, and usually accompanied by Nikolaus, a version of Santa Claus.
The Krampus will then roam the streets scaring adults and children.
In the Czech Republic, women submerge a branch of a cherry tree under water. If it blooms they will marry the next year
On Dec. 4, women in the Czech Republic place a cherry twig under water.
If it blooms before Christmas Eve it means she will marry in the next year.
In Finland, tradition calls for families to stop by the cemetery and commemorate the dead.
It's also typical for families to lunch on porridge with an almond hidden inside -- and the one who finds the almond sings a song.
In Great Britain, children send their letters to Father Christmas by throwing them in the back of the fireplace
Children in Great Britain write their wish lists to Father Christmas and then instead of mailing the letters (though some do), they throw them in the back of the fire place, hoping the draft carries them up and to the North Pole.
If the child's letter catches fire before it flies up the chimney, the child must write a new letter.
Why have one Santa Claus when you can believe in 13?
That's what children do in Iceland, where the '13 Yule Lads' are said to come to town two weeks before Christmas, and leave after the holiday.
Once depicted as mischievous, they have taken on a more benevolent role in recent years.
Christmas starts in Oaxaca with a parade of people walking down lantern-lit streets, and knocking on every door to re-enact Mary and Joseph's search for shelter.
Then, they break ceramic plates near the cathedral to signify the year's end.
In Norway, families hide all of the brooms on Christmas Eve to stop the witches from playing mischievous tricks
It is believed in Norway that on Christmas Eve, witches roam the skies along with other mischievous spirits.
Since a witch's prime mode of transportation is a broom, families hide all of their cleaning supplies attached to sticks, to stop the witches from stealing them.
The 'Tió de Nadal' is a popular Christmas tradition in Catalonia. The log is typically propped up on sticks, and children are encouraged to feed it and cover it with blankets on the nights leading up to Christmas.
On Christmas day, the log is placed in the fireplace and beaten with sticks so that it 'drops' small presents.
In the Ukraine, there's a legend that a poor widow found a Christmas tree growing in her yard during the summer months. Her children were thrilled to finally have a tree, but she didn't have money to decorate it.
When the family woke up Christmas morning, a spider had spun a web around the tree, decorating it for the family.
When the youngest child opened the window on Christmas day and light hit the web, the web turned to silver and gold.
Stemming from that legend, now people in the Ukraine hide spider webs in their trees and whoever finds it Christmas day will have good luck that year.
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