Traditionally here in England, we leave a little treat out on Christmas eve for Santa and his reindeers: mince pie, milk and carrots.

So we were intrigued to know what traditions mark Christmas in countries all over the world and some of them may surprise you…

South Africa

Locals tuck into a questionable Christmas Day dish of deep-fried caterpillars… yummy!

A photo posted by @theartclassroom on


We are feeling a little bit jealous of the tradition of roller-skating to Christmas Mass in Venezuela.


Some German families hide a pickle in their Christmas tree – the child who finds it first on Christmas morning receives a gift. It’s also tradition to leave a shoe outside the front door on 5 December, which is either filled with sweets for good children or a wooden rod for the naughty ones. We know which one we’d rather have…

A photo posted by Julien Málaga (@jmalaga23) on


Decorating your tree at Christmas time conjures up images of tinsel, baubles, glitter and sparkles, right? Well in the Ukraine, it’s slightly different… with artificial spiders and webs being the decoration of choice. Yuck!

A photo posted by Pearl T. Rapalje (@koduckgirl) on

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, there’s a Christmas custom for unmarried women to stand by a door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the toe end of the shoe is facing the door, the girl will supposedly be married within a year.


Continuing the marriage theme, Swedes hide a peeled almond in their festive rice pudding. The person who finds it will also hopefully be married within a year.


Forget Santa Claus! In Italy, a friendly witch called Befana fills children’s stockings with toys and sweets on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5). But they only get lumps of coal if they’ve been bad.


The Tio de Nadal – otherwise known as the ‘pooping log’ – is a hollow log with stick legs and a smiling face. Children look after the log until Christmas Eve and keep it warm under a blanket. Then they beat it with sticks until it ‘poops’ out the presents which – surprise! – have been hidden under the blanket.

A photo posted by Alfredo (@feinafina) on


Christmas day is celebrated on 7 January in Ethiopia, when people traditionally dress in white. The men and boys play a game with a wooden stick and ball called ganna, which is very similar to hockey.

A photo posted by Haile Iyesus (@haileiyesus) on


In Slovakia, things get ever so slightly messy at Christmas time! The man of the house takes a spoonful of loksa – a bread pudding – and throws it up at the ceiling. The more it sticks, the luckier you’ll be!

A photo posted by Jesper Klarin (@jeppeklarin) on

Let us know if you have any Christmas traditions of your own, we'd love to hear from you!