Christmas comes but once a year, and all around the world, it’s celebrated differently. Ever fancied a wee Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas? We know where you should book your Christmas holiday to.

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Austria

The pre-christmas celebration of Krampus

At Christmas, there’s a lot of talk about being “naughty or nice” and Santa giving coal to bad children. Austria – and a lot of Eastern Europe – are not about lip service. They’re about terrifying kids who are on their nonsense. Enter Krampus: the satanic-looking associate of Saint Nicholas who, in contrast to his associate, punishes badly behaved children. Krampuslauf sees young men dress as the half-goat, half-demon and take to the streets in what translates to “Krampus Run,” in what presumably looks like an open-air GWAR festival. His feast is celebrated the day before Saint Nicholas’, on the 5th of December, when he’s offered strong Schnapps.

Catalonia, Spain

Catalonian Christmas tradition of the pooing log

Ever see Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo on South Park? This may be his origin story. In Catalonia, families put a little Christmas log out and every day, it gets fed. Why do they feed the log, I hear you, a poor inquisitive soul ask? Well obviously so that it will poo out presents on Christmas Eve. It’s not enough to simply feed your poo log – the Tió de Nadal – you must also keep it warm, and take good care of it. This is until the time comes to sing the Caga tió song at it, while hitting it with a stick and demanding that it poos nougats. If your house has a fireplace, Caga tío might have its bum put in the fire as a threat on Christmas Eve. We are at the point where we’re not sure if Catalonia is trolling us with this, but if not, please send us a poo log, because the entirety of team Pos is now in love with them.

Japan

After running the extremely successful “クリスマスはケンタッキー” campaign (aka Kentucky for Christmas) in the 70s, KFC convinced Japan that their secret blend of 11 herbs and spices were the perfect flavour for Christmastime. It’s become such a popular Japanese tradition that some have to book their KFC Christmas order months in advance, despite most of the country not actually celebrating Christmas. It’s thought that the KFC meal is a great way to bring the family together, and when only 1% of the country are actually Christians, very few people really want to spend an entire day roasting a turkey in celebration of the Baby Jesus, so instead they turn to Kentucky Fried for their white meat fix. Feel free to turn up to the Pos Christmas dinner with a Bargain Bucket.

Ukraine

Christmas spider on a tree

Apologies to the arachnophobes in the house, but this one is more adorable than it is creepy. The legend goes that a poor, but hardworking widow lived in a rundown cabin with her children. They noticed a pinecone had fallen and taken root in the earth, which excited the children, as it meant that by Christmas they’d have a tree to put up. Christmas Eve came, and the children and their mother were devastated to find that they couldn’t afford to decorate their Christmas tree. The family went to bed, despondent. A little spider took pity on them, and while they slept, wove cobwebs upon the tree. The family awoke to find the tree covered in cobwebs, and when the morning sun hit them, they realised the tree was covered in threads of gold and silver. From then on, they never went hungry again. To celebrate the legend, Ukrainians decorate their tree with gold and silver cobwebs, and pavuchky – little spiders.

Read more: Socially conscious gifts for your Christmas stockings

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Image credits:
Wolfgang/Flickr
Ajuntament Barcelona/Flickr
Kate Renkes/Flickr