Photo: Paul Nicholls / Barcroft Media (Getty Images)
These eight international holidays prove not everyone settles for Santa, milk, and cookies. The rest of the world celebrates a little differently.
There’s horse skulls, polar bears, and even a full day of silence with these holiday traditions. Which one will you adopt or incorporate into your annual holiday festivities?
Mari Lwyd: Wales
Mari Lwyd is a ritual that is thought to date back to Celtic times. It features a group of people (including one dressed up in a horse skull) caroling for food and drink.
Photo: PAUL NICHOLLS / Barcroft Media (Getty Images)
Roller Skate To Church: Venezuela
Every Christmas Eve morning, thousands in Caracas, Venezuela, strap on roller skates and head to Mass. The custom is so large that most streets are blocked off to ensure a safe skate.
Photo: PATRICIA CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images
KFC Christmas: Japan
Japan has found their own Christmas tradition: buckets of the Colonel’s original recipe chicken. It beats having to cook for your in-laws.
Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
Night of the Radishes: Mexico
On Dec. 23, the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, turns out en masse to display intricate works of art carved out of radishes. The tradition features radishes grown specifically to be carved and was invented to get more people shopping (it worked).
Photo: LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images
Day of the Little Candles: Columbia
This holiday marks the start of the Christmas season (instead of the day after Thanksgiving like here in the U.S.). Entire cities get decked out in small candles, which makes them look like they’re out of a storybook.
Photo: Eddy Buttarelli/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images
Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival: China
China’s massive ice sculptures are just the start of this festival, which also includes hockey and polar bear swimming competitions.
Photo: LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images
Day of Silence: India
For the first 24 hours of the New Year, the city of Bali goes completely silent. No work, no travel, and very little talking are allowed, making a giant city feel eerily empty.
Photo: VCG/VCG (Getty Images)
La Befana: Italy
Instead of Santa Claus, an old witch gives out presents in Italy. On Jan. 5, parents are expected to leave out broccoli and wine (yum!) to get the witch to leave presents.
Photo: Eddy Buttarelli/REDA&CO/UIG (Getty Images)