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13 Christmas Traditions From Around The World That'll Make You Say "Huh?"

Pink underwear, spiderwebs, and fried chicken.

1. Japan

Mark / Via Flickr: 10428715@N08

In the '70s, KFC Japan began to promote fried chicken as a Christmas meal with its long running "Kentucky for Christmas" advertising campaign. Since then, eating KFC for Christmas dinner has become a tradition in Japan.

2. Argentina

Gallyna / Getty Images

In Argentina, a family member (usually mom or grandma) gifts women pink underwear to be worn on NYE to attract love.

3. Estonia

Semakokal / Getty Images

In Estonia, it's customary to go to a sauna on Christmas Eve after preparing the house for the evening festivities. YASSS, PLEASE.

4. Czech Republic

Piranka / Getty Images

Stay with me here: In the Czech Republic, unmarried girls are supposed to throw a shoe over their shoulder in the direction of the nearest door. If the shoe lands with the toe pointing towards the door, the girl will get married. HEEL TO GOD.

5. Spain

restaurante kaialde / Flickr: restaurante-kaialde

In Barcelona, you will find a wooden log with a smiley face wearing a traditional Catalan red hat. He's called Caga Tio and he's basically the Catalan equivalent of Santa Claus.

According to tradition, kids are supposed to "take care" of Caga Tio from Dec. 8 to Christmas Eve. They cover him with a blanket and feed him turrón (or nougat). When it's all said and done, Caga Tio then "poops out" gifts for everyone.

6. India

In India, people decorate banana or mango trees with Christmas lights due to the lack of pine trees.

7. Ukraine

Marty Gabel / Flickr: fiskadoro

Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with spiderwebs because it’s believed that the webs will bring good fortune and luck for the upcoming year.

8. France

Couleur Lavande / Flickr: couleurlavande

The "13 desserts" is a tradition from Provence in the south of France. They make 13 desserts to represent Jesus and the 12 apostles, and everything gets DEVOURED on Christmas Eve.

9. Sweden

Seppo Laine / Flickr: cyberhem

"Julbock" is a giant Swedish Christmas goat made of straw that lives in a town called Gävle. Every year since the late '60s, it's burned to the ground in the name of Christmas.

10. Mexico

Patricia Castellanos / AFP / Getty Images

Carved radishes are displayed during the celebration of "Night of the Radishes" in Oaxaca, Mexico. It's an annual carving event that has its origins in the colonial period when radishes were introduced by the Spanish. Farmers began carving radishes into figures as a way to attract customers attention during the Christmas market.

11. Latin America

Columbia Pictures

In most Latin American countries, baby Jesus delivers the gifts instead of Santa Claus. Can you imagine the biceps on that infant?

12. Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic

Johannes Simon / Getty Images

Central Europe is known for Krampus, a terrifying beast — and Santa's evil counterpart — who beats people into being nice and not naughty. A more modern take on this involves a parade where people dress up as demons and march in the streets.

13. Colombia

The Novena is an old Colombian tradition where people pray for nine successive days, from December 16th to December 24th. After prayer, they indulge in typical Christmas dishes like buñuelos, natilla, and empanadas.

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