Around the world, various cultures celebrate Christmas with unique and unusual traditions that reflect local customs, folklore, and history. Here are some of the most unusual Christmas traditions from different countries:

  1. Japan’s KFC Christmas Dinner: In Japan, a peculiar Christmas tradition involves ordering Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for Christmas dinner. This tradition, popularized by an ad campaign in the 1970s, has become so entrenched that people pre-order KFC months in advance.
  2. The Yule Cat in Iceland: Iceland has a tradition involving the Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn), a mythical creature said to roam during Christmas. It’s believed that those who don’t receive new clothes before Christmas Eve might fall victim to this cat.
  3. Roller Skating to Mass in Venezuela: In Caracas, Venezuela, it’s customary for people to roller skate to early morning Christmas Mass. The streets are closed to cars to ensure a safe journey to church for the skaters.
  4. Gävle Goat in Sweden: In Gävle, Sweden, a massive straw goat is erected each year in the town’s square as a Christmas symbol. However, it has gained notoriety for being frequently vandalized or burned down by mischief-makers, despite efforts to protect it.
  5. Krampusnacht in Austria: In parts of Austria, the night before St. Nicholas Day (December 6th), people celebrate Krampusnacht. People dress as Krampus, a demonic figure, to scare misbehaving children. It’s a contrasting figure to St. Nicholas, who rewards good children.
  6. Caganer in Catalonia: In Catalonia, Spain, the Nativity scene includes a figurine called the Caganer, depicted as a person defecating. It’s believed to bring good luck and fertility.
  7. La Befana in Italy: In Italy, the gift-bringer is not Santa Claus but an old woman called La Befana. She’s said to fly on a broomstick on the eve of the Epiphany (January 6th), leaving gifts for children.
  8. The Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines: In San Fernando, Philippines, a Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul) takes place, showcasing huge, intricate lanterns made by different villages, creating a dazzling display of lights.

These unique traditions add color and diversity to the global celebration of Christmas, showcasing the richness of cultural heritage and the myriad ways people commemorate this festive season.

While specific “weird” news stories are subjective and may vary each year, some unusual or quirky Christmas news stories from the past have captured attention. Here are a few:

  1. The Mysterious Appearance of Christmas Presents: In some instances, mysterious Christmas presents have appeared overnight at bus stops, public parks, or random locations. People find wrapped gifts with no sender or recipient information, spreading a sense of wonder and holiday cheer.
  2. Penguins on Parade: At times, zoos or wildlife parks arrange festive celebrations with penguins donning Santa hats or participating in Christmas parades, delighting visitors with their adorable holiday-themed appearances.
  3. Giant Christmas Trees Gone Astray: Transporting gigantic Christmas trees to public squares or events occasionally leads to amusing incidents. Stories of trees getting stuck in traffic, causing roadblocks, or requiring unconventional means of transportation often make headlines.
  4. Unusual Christmas Displays: Some individuals go to extremes with unconventional Christmas decorations, creating eye-catching or eccentric displays that attract local attention. This includes unique light arrangements, extravagant inflatables, or themed decorations that stand out in their neighborhoods.
  5. Reindeer on the Loose: News of escaped or wandering reindeer from Christmas-themed events or farms occasionally makes headlines. The sight of these iconic animals on the loose adds a touch of unexpected holiday whimsy to everyday life.
  6. Unusual Gift Exchanges: Stories of peculiar or unusual gift exchanges, such as a neighborhood swapping ornaments, a town exchanging unusual local products, or unique charitable gifting initiatives, often showcase the spirit of giving in unexpected ways.