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The Station

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The Station

Unwrapping Unusual Traditions: Part 1

A Festive Journey Featuring Some of the World’s Most Unique Christmas Customs
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Glowing Christmas fireplace and living room, with tree, and stockings hanging from mantel by fireplace.Waiting for Santa.

Bad Santa

Austria’s “Bad Santa” tradition, rooted in Pagan Winter Solstice mythology as the Krampus, is now celebrated through “Krampusnacht” on December 5th, featuring parades and pranks with people wearing Krampus masks.

Christmas Sauna

In Finland, the “Christmas Sauna” or Joulusauna is an ancient tradition where family members relax in the sauna on Christmas Eve, surrounded by candles, lanterns, oils, and fresh towels.

Pickle in the Tree

Germany boasts the quirky “Pickle in the Tree” tradition (Weihnachtsgurke). Families kick off Christmas morning by searching for a hidden pickle ornament in the tree—the finder earns bragging rights and the first gift.

Yule Cat

Iceland introduces the fearsome “Yule Cat” (Jólakötturinn), a giant monster lurking in snowy landscapes during Christmas, targeting those without new clothes. Originating from farmers motivating workers to finish wool processing, it’s a unique tale of gift or feast.

Befana the Witch

In Italy, the folklore of “Befana the Witch” unfolds on Epiphany Eve. This old woman, riding a broomstick and covered in soot, delivers candies and gifts to children. Families leave out wine and snacks, and if the kids are naughty, they might find coal and dark candy in their socks.

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About the Contributor
Brylea Borbonus
Brylea Borbonus, Staff Writer
Brylea is a Junior and first-year writer for the Station. She helps her father with farm work such as mowing and raking fields and moving bales from areas to the farm. She is a two-year member of her church's bell choir and a one-year Deacons member. When she isn't working or at church, she is helping her family or listening to music. She loves watching Marvel and Star Wars movies, listens to Faun and country music, and helping set up Sunday dinner at her grandma's.

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