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Everybody loves Christmas, though very few cultures celebrate it the exact same way. Here's what you can expect around the world!

One of the joys of Christmas is that it's more or less a global holiday. No matter where you travel to, there are telltale signs of holiday cheer. But though the spirit of the season seems to be present all over the world, very few traditions find themselves repeated throughout the globe. Here are some of the more unique traditions you should know about when travelling this December!

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1. Japan

You may think that Christmas is best celebrated with a roast pig or a whole turkey—but in Japan, it's a little different! Families of the island nation celebrate the holidays with fried chicken, more specifically with KFC.

Japan is mostly a secular country, and Christians are considered a minority. Yet, there is one person that has managed to capture the imaginations of Japanese families celebrating Christmas eve: the Colonel. Though there are conflicting theories as to how KFC became a Christmas tradition, many point to the successful marketing campaign of KFC in Japan, advertising "Kentucky for Christmas" in the early 1970s, when the country's economy was only beginning to boom. It positioned fried chicken as a luxurious American Christmas tradition that many families aimed to try for themselves. Of course, we can't blame them: who doesn't love the Colonel's secret recipe with 11 herbs and spices? Next time you're in Japan for Christmas, consider ditching the sushi and queueing up for a party bucket for your family. 

See also: Architectural Marvels: 7 Places To Visit In Japan

2. Norway

There shouldn't be anything scary happening during Christmas, right? Well, Norwegians think a little different. Residents of the Scandinavian country believe that Christmas Eve coincides with the arrival of witches and wicked spirits. On that day, families take all their brooms and hide them around the house to prevent mischievous witches from stealing them and using them to fly around in. 

3. Egypt

Many people look forward to December 25 as Christmas Day. But this isn't so for the Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt, which make up 90 per cent of the Christian population. Instead, they celebrate Christmas on January 7. Most Coptic Orthodox believers also take part in what is called the "Holy Nativity Fast", where they are tasked to follow a strict vegan diet from November to January. Afterwards, they celebrate with a Christmas Eve feast of turkey and traditional Egyptian fare such as fatteh (flatbread) and wara'einab (stuffed grape leaves). Delicious!

4. New Zealand

The Christmas tree is among the most popular symbols of the holidays. For Kiwis in New Zealand however, their tree tends to look a little different. Instead of using pine trees, they use the pohutukawa, an indigenous New Zealand tree that blooms red during the summer months of Christmas. Unlike the tree that we're most likely familiar with, the pohutukawa comes with a large circular canopy and uniquely shaped buds that are used in New Zealand Christmas cards. 

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5. Venezeula

In the romantic city of Caracas, Venezuela, people celebrate Christmas by going to church. But they don't take the car like you'd expect, instead, citizens roller skate their way to Mass. The tradition is said to be so well-established that certain roads are closed on Christmas morning so that people can safely skate their way to the chapel. 

6. Germany

This tradition is a bit of a strange one, and though it's attributed to Germany, many native Germans have in fact never heard of it. Weihnachtsgurke is the custom of hiding a pickle ornament upon the Christmas tree. German-Americans, who mostly speak of knowing the tradition, say that the first child who finds the camouflaged green-coloured ornament amid a backdrop of leaves, wins a special gift on Christmas day. 

7. Ukraine

Before Christmas comes Halloween, when people traditionally decorate their homes in spooky ornaments such as evil jack-o-lanterns and devilish cobwebs. Yet, in the Ukraine, cobwebs have become a beloved seasonal ornament that originated from a heartwarming tale. It is said that a poor widow once lived with her children in a cold, cramped hut. Knowing that they would be unable to decorate their home, the family went to sleep resigned to a sober Christmas. Yet, the household's spiders took pity on the family and spun beautifully intricate webs upon their home and when the family woke, they saw their modest hut decorated in delicate webs that shone silver and gold under the sun. 

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