Bizarre Christ­mas cus­toms

A bucket of the colonel’s Ken­tucky Fried does it in Ja­pan, writes KOWTHAR SOLOMONS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

It could well be ar­gued that the peo­ple of Cat­alo­nia may have taken things a bit too far with the poop­ing log.

A hol­lowed out log is filled with sweets and nuts, and dec­o­rated with a face. On Christ­mas morn­ing, the log is thrown into a fire or beaten with sticks – un­til it “poops” out its gifts. Al­though the tra­di­tion has evolved some­what, los­ing the fire so that more elab­o­rate gifts can be placed in­side, it is still re­garded as one of the most bizarre Christ­mas tra­di­tions in the world.

Our friends from Cat­alo­nia have also given us the Ca­ganer. As part of the na­tiv­ity, this un­for­tu­nate char­ac­ter was caught in the toi­let when baby Je­sus was born, and im­mor­talised as a chil­dren’s fig­urine with his pants down.

In­dia is not the best place to find the tra­di­tional Christ­mas tree, so they use mango and ba­nana trees in­stead.

About 2.3 per­cent of In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion are Chris­tians – which equates to about 25 mil­lion peo­ple – who dec­o­rate the streets and also their homes with ba­nana and mango trees and leaves.

Santa Claus is known as Christ­mas Baba in Hindi, Baba Christ­mas in Urdu, Christ­mas Thaathaa’ (Christ­mas old man) in Tamil, Christ­mas Thatha (Christ­mas old man) in Tel­ugu, Natal Bua (Christ­mas old man) in Marathi, and in the Kerla Were state he is known as “Christ­mas Papa”.

Ger­mans use a glass-blown green pickle as the last dec­o­ra­tion on their Christ­mas trees, and th­ese pick­les are of­ten passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.

The pickle is placed some­where on the tree, and the first child to find it will get a spe­cial gift and good luck for the rest of the year. The tra­di­tion of glass or­na­ments car­ried over to the US, when FW Wool­worth be­gan im­port­ing them in the 1880s.

WEIRD: In Wales, peo­ple cel­e­brate by putting a sheet over their bod­ies and walk­ing around with a horse’s skull on a stick.

CAT­ALO­NIA: Poop log:

FAM­ILY SIZE: The Colonel’s chicken is a must-have in Ja­pan.

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