Everyone celebrates the holidays differently, but across the globe, even the same holidays can take on an entirely different guise. Check out these winter holiday traditions!
SPAIN - Gather round with the family to enjoy a magnificent dinner for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8th, and be sure to bring little Tio de Nadal, the Christmas Log! This log is decorated with legs, a face, and a cute red hat, and is tucked in at the end of the night with a blanket! Be sure to leave some of your feast out for the little log, as it’s known to get hungry at night, and in return, you’ll find presents wrapped in the blanket in the morning.
CARACAS, VENEZUELA - Break out the fireworks before the sun rises and set them off, not to disturb your neighbors, but to help rouse the whole city of Caracas. Everyone pulls out their roller skates and floods the streets, many of which are closed to anticipate the sudden influx of skating residents, as they all make their way to the nearest church for Christmas Mass. This might be the only time your Sunday best includes wheels!
WALES - Nobody knows what day the bleached skull of a horse will show up at their door, cheerfully singing songs, but most people in Wales expect it sometime between Christmas and late January. The old ritual of Mari Lwyd, the Grey Mare, calls for one person to dress up as a horse, using an actual horse skull, gather five or six friends together, and go from house to house singing. A quick rhythm and singing contest tears through the town with Mari Lwyd as the lead, and she often wins. The ritual is meant to bring good luck, and residents or pub owners often compensate for being visited by offering food or drink.