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Check out these weird and wonderful holiday traditions from around the world

Forget Santa Claus and turkey dinner! From pooping figurines to devilish demons to Christmas trees on the beach, take a look at some of the most unusual holiday traditions.

With the holiday season coming to a close, here's a look at some unique celebrations

Central Europe's Krampus  

Krampus is a demon-like creature represented by a fearsome, hand-carved wooden mask with animal horns, a suit made from sheep or goat skin, and large cow bells attached to the waist that the wearer rings by running or shaking his hips up and down. 

(David W Cerny/Reuters)

The devilish creature has been a part of central European, alpine folklore going back at least a millennium. Krampus traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas on the evening of Dec. 5 to visit households, rewarding children who have been nice while punishing those who have been naughty.

Revellers from across central Europe don costumes and masks each year in a traditional parade to disperse the ghosts of winter.

(Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Pooping statues in Spain

Statuettes of well-known people defecating are a strong Christmas tradition in Northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia, dating back to the 18th century. Catalans hide the small statues, known as caganers, in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization, hope and prosperity for the coming year.

(Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)

Scotland celebrates Hogmanay

Revelers dressed as vikings hold lit torches during a procession to mark the start of Hogmanay (New Year) celebrations in Edinburgh in December 2014. The annual torchlight procession finishes with a fireworks display at Calton Hill in the Scottish capital.

(Russell Cheyne/Reuters)

Italy's ugly, old witch

La Befana is an imaginary old woman who is thought to bring gifts to children in Italy during the festival of Epiphany. She may look a little scary, but she's far from wicked. Like Santa, it's believed that La Befana flies around on her broomstick delivering toys and treats to well-behaved children.

(Daniele La Monaca/Reuters)

Burning the devil

In Guatemala, the cleaning ritual known as Quema del Diablo takes place every year on Dec. 7 and is a central part of Christmas celebrations. During the Quema del Diablo, a demon-shaped effigy representing the devil is set on fire to remove impurities and bring good luck. 


Japan's Christmas KFC craze

In Japan, the Christmas tradition isn't turkey — it's chicken. And to be specific, it's the Kentucky fried variety. The tradition started in 1974 after a foreign customer couldn't find turkey in Tokyo to celebrate Christmas. The colonel has been a part of the holidays in Japan ever since. 

(Adam Walsh/CBC)

Mummering in Newfoundland

Mummering is a centuries old Newfoundland holiday tradition that involves dressing up in outlandish costumes and knocking on neighbours' doors for a little merriment and fun.

(Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The annual Mummers Parade is held every year in downtown St. John's.

(Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Forget snow! How about Christmas on the beach?

This traveler adjusts the small Christmas tree she planted in the sand as she celebrates the holidays at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.

(David Gray/Reuters)


The annual pub crawl known as Santacon was started by a small group in San Francisco in 1974. Since then, the tradition has spread to cities around the world, with thousands of people dressed in Santa costumes turning out each year. According to their website, there are events in 383 cities in 52 different countries.

(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

With Files from Reuters, the Associated Press and CBC News