15 Unusual Christmas Rituals From Around The World

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.

Meredith Galante contributed to this post.

In Australia, Santa Claus pulls up on a surfboard.

It's summer down under on Christmas Day. Temperatures in December are between 68 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

So Santa often pulls up on the beach on his surfboard. Carolers also gather in masse in major cities to sing by candlelight, and people decorate their homes with 'Christmas Bush,' a native plant.

In Denmark, a mischievous elf, Nisse, plays pranks on families.

Families in Denmark leave Nisse, a devilish elf, a bowl of rice pudding or porridge so he is nice to them.

If families don't leave pudding, presents may be stolen before the children awake.

In Finland, families head to the cemetery to pay their respects.

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 France, children put their shoes by the fireplace and Pere Noel fills them with presents.

Before going to bed, children in France put their shoes by the fireplace. They hope that Pere Noel, France's Santa, puts gifts in their shoes.

He also hangs small toys, nuts and fruits on the tree.

In Iceland, the 13 Yule Lads replace the traditional Santa Claus.

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, and children leave their shoes by their windowsills, hoping the Lads will leave them small gifts.

In India, those who celebrate Christmas decorate banana or mango trees.

India's population is mainly Hindu and Muslim, but those who do celebrate Christmas tend to decorate mango or banana trees.

Some people will even decorate their houses with mango leaves.

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.

In Catalonia, Spain, kids beat the 'TiĆ³ de Nadal' log with a stick so he 'drops' presents

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 literally 'poops' small presents.

In Caracas, Venezuela, the roads close on Christmas, so people roller skate to church.

On Christmas morning in Caracas, Venezuela the streets are closed to cars.

Local residents then roller blade to church, shooting off fireworks and proclaiming 'Jesus is Born!'

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