Christmas is celebrated all over the world, but some Christmas traditions are very different than those in the United States. Each country has it’s own way of doing things, and a prime example of weird but really cool traditions is those of Germany.
In Germany, the mythical Christmas demon Krampus is celebrated instead of Ol’ St. Nick. Krampus is known as the half man half beast creature that comes to your house on Christmas Eve night, and just like Santa Claus, he leaves you with a sweet treat if you make his nice list. The kids must keep their shoes next to the bed, and if they were good all year, Krampus would put candy in their shoes, but if the child acted badly, they would get a birch rod in their shoes.
There is even a Krampus parade where thousands of people wear Krampus masks and dance in the streets. Many people enjoy the creepy feeling the creature gives around Christmas, which seems more like a Halloween thing, but many people still enjoy the demon as it has become a tradition in recent years.
Christmas trees are very important to the German people around this time, just like in the US, but Christmas trees stay outside until Christmas Eve when they bring the Christmas tree inside. A popular tradition among friends is to sit around the tree at night holding hands to protect the tree from evil spirits. Also, Christmas markets, or Weihnachtsmarkts, are very popular in Germany, and just like any other market on Christmas they sell Christmas snacks and decorations, alcohol, and have tons of free stuff to do.
These traditions may sound weird at first, but these short explanations are only small pieces of the real thing. Try researching them yourself, and maybe you’ll find a new tradition for you and your family too. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s from the Westerner World staff to you!