Whether it’s stuffing your face with turkey while watching Die Hard with a glass of beer in your hand, playing the new Fallout until your eyes bleed or playing Connect 4 with your arsey aunt just so you can rub victory in her face, we all have Christmas traditions. Some, like those in Dublin who go for a swim in the sea on Xmas morning, are a little stranger than those who go to midnight Mass. But very few of those traditions are as balls-out-mental as some of those listed below…
Scottsdale Arizona Gun Club Spread Peace On Earth By Having Santa Pose With High-Powered Machine Guns
About as far removed from the quaint British idea of Christmas, with its yuletide cards and redbreasted robins, is this tradition in Arizona where a local gun club offer members the chance to come visit Santa so that he can hear their Christmas wish, and gurn in photos while holding ridiculously unnecessary automatic weapons.
Santa: “What would you like for Christmas little girl?”
Little Girl: “An Armalite AR15 high powered assault rifle, some grenades and rocket launcher please.”
There’s A Santa World Championship In Switzerland
Known the world over as the land of army knives, Toblerones and corrupt FIFA officials, Switzerland can now also lay claim to be the home of the annual Santa World Championships in which anyone dressed as Santa is allowed to compete in events like chimney climbing, sledding and snowball fights to determine, once and for all, who the world’s best Santa really is.
In Austria, Santa’s Evil Accomplice Krampus Roams The Streets Shitting Kids Up
If your idea of festive cheer is being harassed on the street by a man dressed like the Predator in Slipknot cosplay then the Austrian tradition of Krampus will light up your tree. Presumably men dressed as the folklore figure, who Alpine legend claims punishes naughty children, take to the streets to scare children. Probably by making them listen to death metal and retelling countless stories about Warcraft. It’s only a matter of time before American Goth kids start doing it. In fact, they’re even making a Hollywood film out of the character.
In Venezuela People Travel To Early Morning Christmas Mass On Rollerskates
Every Christmas morning the capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is turned into a sort of holy roller disco as people don their skates and whizz through the city to go to early morning Mass. Traffic is even banned before 8am to allow people to engage in the strange custom. I’ve never been that excited to get to Mass but then again I’ve never rollerskated there. If this tradition was adopted across the rest of the Catholic world then attendance at Church would shoot up.
The Ghost Of Christmas Past Will Stop By In Portugal
It’s customary in Portugal for people to set a place at the Christmas dinner table for those relatives who have recently passed away, believing that it will provide them with good luck in the New Year. Which isn’t creepy at all.
In Holland Santa’s Racist Helper ‘Black Pete’ Plays With Kids
If your idea of a fun-loving Christmas character is a mischievous Dutch dude in black face giving gifts to kids then you’ll love Zwart Piet – Black Pete – one of Santa’s helpers in the Netherlands. Authorities are reportedly cracking down on Zwart Piet and trying to rebrand the character after complaints that he promotes racial stereotyping of black people.
In South Africa They Forgo The Turkey In Favour Of Some Deep Fried Moths
This Christmas, when you’re tucking into your turkey and ham with the Queen on the telly in the background pretending she gives a shit about you, spare a thought for those lunatics in South Africa where it’s part of their Christmas tradition to deep fry and munch the caterpillar of the Emperor Moth in a weird quasi-I’m A Celebrity Christmas special where you don’t even have to be a celebrity to take part. Still though, probably not as bad as Brussels sprouts.