Ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated abroad? We have compiled our top 5 favourite wacky ways to spend the holiday season.

 

The Netherlands: 

zwartepiet
Photo: zwartepiet.nl

Zwarte Piet or Black Peter is Saint Nic’s companion from Spain. Those playing him usually adopt ‘Black Face’ and colorful clothing from the Renaissance. Zwarte Pete and Sinterklaas, Santa, come up from Spain in a steam boat to bring festive cheer to the nation. In recent years this has sparked a lot of controversy especially in the Netherlands.

 

Venezuela: 

(091220) -- LONDON, Dec. 20, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Roller skaters dressed as Santa Clause skate along the streets during the Santa Skate in London, capital of Britain, on Dec. 19, 2009. More than 400 roller skaters from Britain and neighboring countries participated in the annual street skate on Saturday night, The event was originally launched in 2004. (Xinhua/An Zhiping) (wjd)
Photo: Xinhua/An Zhiping

Forget sleigh bells, in the sunny South American nation rollerblading is the most festive mode of transport. On Christmas day all the roads in the capital city are closed so that locals can rollerblade their way to morning mass. People even tie string to their blades and hang them out of their windows so that passers by can wake them up if they oversleep. Add more drama to your Christmas morn with some roller derby!

Japan:

Photo: myyearinjapan
Photo: myyearinjapan

Forget turkey, in Japan the preferred Yule time bird is chicken coated in the colonel’s secret recipe. As soon as the season starts the Japanese flood to the fast food chain to feed their festive urges. Over 240,000 barrels of chicken are sold during the period. The Japanese associate KFC with Christmas the same way the West associate Coca Cola with it.

America: 

Photo: International Business Times
Photo: International Business Times

Of course it had to be the Americans who win all things wacky. Every year citizens of a sleepy town in Arizona head down to their local gun club to take photos with good ol’ Saint Nic and his erm AK-47s…Everyone from pensioners to babies love getting up close and cuddly to the man in red and his SMG. The tradition is widely celebrated in this conservative gun totin’ community.

Sweden: 

Photo: lifeathome.ch
Photo: lifeathome.ch

When you think of Christmas and animals what comes to mind? Reindeer? Well according to the Swedish town of Gavle goats are the most merry of the animal kingdom. Since 1966 the town has erected straw goats in the square and every year since it has been burned down! Everyone from vandals to merry carol singers have attempted to torch this 13 meter tall goat.

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