Breaking News
  • January 8Grandview PTO is selling Trojan Head Charms for your Crocs! $5 each. See Mrs. Hemminger in the high school office to purchase yours today!
  • October 18Students staying after school for any practice or after school activity must be with the supervisor or person responsible for the event from the end of the school day until the end of the practice/event
Student Newspaper of Derry Area High School

The Station

The Station

The Station

Unwrapping Unusual Traditions: Part 2

A Festive Journey Featuring Some of the World’s Most Unique Christmas Customs

Colonel Santa

In 1974, Takeshi Okawara, the manager of the first KFC in Japan, conceived the idea of promoting a shareable ‘party barrel’ for Christmas. Despite Christmas not being a national holiday in Japan, Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii has evolved into a widely accepted tradition. Throughout KFCs across the country, Colonel Sanders can be seen dressed as Santa, marketing meals and a Coke.

Fireplace Shoes

Pakjesavond is celebrated on December 5th, where families from all over the Netherlands gather around the fireplace to sing songs in honor of Sinterklaas and his horse, Ozosnel. However, there’s a twist. To enable Sinterklaas to visit, one family member, known as the ‘shoe-setter,’ must set out a shoe for each member. Each shoe must contain a carrot or apple for his horse, a drawing for him, and the singing of one or more songs to call him before going to bed.

Flying Witches

On Christmas Eve, or Julaften in Norway, people hide their brooms based on early superstitions. It is said that witches, sprites, and revenants would steal the brooms to fly on. While women hide not only brooms but also mops and brushes, men stay up to scare off witches and other nasty creatures.

Yule Goat

This Swedish tradition dates back to ancient Pagan festivals, marking the Sun’s re-entry into the astrological Capricorn zodiac. A kid goat would be sacrificed to Njord or Saturn, the gods of agriculture and the early January zodiac. Cornucopias, symbolizing the festival, are derived from Capricorn. Julbocken, or the Yule Goat, is the modern version of this old Pagan tradition. The Yule Goat has become a tree ornament and large straw statues that are put up every year around the country.

Cobweb Christmas

In Eastern European folklore, particularly in Ukraine, a poor widow once lived in a small hut with her children. One summer day, a pine cone fell on the dirt floor of the hut and started to grow. The children were excited to have a Christmas tree for winter. However, when Christmas Eve arrived, they could not afford to decorate the tree. After going to bed discontented, they woke up Christmas morning to find the tree covered with cobwebs. When they opened the windows, the sunlight turned the webs to gold and silver. The widow and her children were overjoyed, and from then on, they never lived in poverty again.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
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.

Comments (0)

All The Station Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *