Monday, December 15, 2008

Eight Strange Christmas Customs

We already learned about the Krampus, who makes an appearance in this list, but there are some other pretty special Christmas traditions around the world.

Swarte Piet or Black Peter is a christmas character from the Netherlands. He is Santa's black slave! FESTIVE! Dutch parents from about the 1850s threatened their children with being taken back to Spain with Black Peter if they did not behave themselves during the year. 

These days the whole 'slave' thing is played down and Black Peter is generally portrayed as a chimney sweep. 

The Krampus! Best frigging Christmas character ever IMO.

This charming figure is a Caganer, originating in and around Andorra. And yes he is taking a shit. That's how he rolls! He is generally placed in nativity scenes, although at a distance from Mary and Joseph in order to protect his dignity... His origins, sadly, are unknown.

Another Catalonian poop-related Christmas custom! Caga Tio! The pooping log! He is a hollow log with legs attached and a face drawn on. From early December he is filled with sweets and then on Christmas day he is thrown on the fire, beaten with sticks and made to poop out all the lollies he has been stuffed with while the family sings the Caga Tio song!:

poop log,
poop turrĂ³n,
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
poop log!

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Check out Mental Floss.

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