Photo: susikite

11 of the Most Unusual Holiday Festivals Around the World

United States Galleries
by Ailsa Ross Dec 24, 2015

1. In Romania’s Trotus Valley, men, women, and children clad in bearskins dance at people’s homes to chase away the year’s bad spirits.

2. In Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, Santa has a nasty counterpart — Krampus. He’s a warning to naughty children to shape up…or get eaten…

Scary boogie men in the street of Munich #krampuslauf #krampus

A photo posted by Susi Mai (@susikite) on

3. In South Wales, Mari Lwyd — a horse’s skull attached to a pole that peeks out from ribbons and a white sheet — goes from door-to-door bringing people good luck.

4. In Guatemala, effigies of Satan are burned atop bonfires for Quema del Diablo, symbolizing the light of the Virgin Mary and her victory over the demon.

#quemadeldiablo #guatemala @leiladari @silvannette @anadasilva22 We’ll I’m not a religious person but why did my family not mention or have us participate in this event. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SET SHIT ON FIRE!!! #FIRE #DOIT #

A photo posted by Alex Hidalgo (@wtfxalex) on

5. In Switzerland, hundred of men bearing cowbells, whips, and bishop’s hat lanterns tear after Santa for Klausjagen (Chasing the Claus) in Küssnacht.

6. In Geneva, L’Escalade involves smashing marzipan-filled chocolate cauldrons, gorging on the broken pieces, and celebrating the defeat of Savoy troops in Switzerland in 1602 with a massive Cathedral Square bonfire.

Marmite de l’Escalade :D 友達に教えてもらったスイスジュネーブのお祝い♡ ジュネーブがフランスからの侵略を免れた記念に、一番年上&年下の子が手をつないでお鍋のチョコ(Marmite)を割ります。Martelのチョコ、最高に美味しかった!さすがスイス♡ #marmite #escalade #geneve #chocolat #martel #swiss #celebration #fete #homeparty #tokyo #マーミット #ジュネーブ #祭り #チョコレート #lescalade #marmitedelescalade

A photo posted by Asuka Nathalie Konishi (@asukanathalie) on

7. In Mexico, Noche de Rabanos sees amazing figures carved from giant radishes take over Oaxaca City’s Zocalo.

8. In San Fernando, the so-called “Christmas Capital of the Philippines,” the Giant Lantern Festival sees 20ft lanterns being paraded through the streets.

9. In Lyon, France, locals express gratitude to the Virgin Mary by placing candles along the outsides of the the windows…and for a few days in December there are buildings that look like this:

10. On Christmas morning in Caracas, Venezuela, churchgoers rollerskate to Mass. Roads are even cleared so the worshippers can have safe passage.

Blue ballerina #ballerina #rollerskates #k2 #riedell

A photo posted by Wojtek Zawadzki (@wojsrv) on

11. In Ireland, it’s traditional to swim in the sea on Christmas morning. At some point, Santa costumes were added to the tradition…

Discover Matador