December 14, 2023 3 min read

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it's time to dust off those ugly sweaters, hang up the mistletoe, and embrace the weird and wonderful world of holiday traditions. While some people stick to the tried and true customs, others like to add a little extra spice to their festivities. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the quirkiest holiday traditions from around the world. Get ready to be inspired (and maybe a little confused) by these offbeat celebrations!

1. The Night of the Radishes

Move over, gingerbread houses—there's a new veggie in town! In Oaxaca, Mexico, they take their love for radishes to a whole new level with the Night of the Radishes. On December 23rd, locals gather to carve intricate scenes out of giant radishes. Yes, you read that right. Radishes. From nativity scenes to famous landmarks, these radish masterpieces are a sight to behold. Who knew vegetables could be so artistic?

2. The Yule Lads

Forget about Santa Claus and his reindeer—Iceland has a whole crew of mischievous characters who bring gifts (and maybe a little chaos) during the holiday season. Known as the Yule Lads, these thirteen trolls take turns visiting children on the thirteen nights leading up to Christmas. Each Yule Lad has their own unique personality and penchant for pranks. From Spoon Licker to Door Slammer, these lads definitely know how to keep things interesting.

3. The Giant Lantern Festival

Looking for a way to light up your holiday season? Look no further than the Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Philippines. This dazzling event showcases the artistic prowess of local craftsmen who create enormous lanterns, some as big as houses! These stunning creations are made with thousands of colorful lights and are a true feast for the eyes. It's like a disco party for your retinas!

4. The Pickle Ornament

Have you ever heard of hiding a pickle in a Christmas tree? No, it's not a new form of vegetable preservation. It's a quirky tradition that originated in Germany and has made its way across the pond. The idea is simple: hide a pickle-shaped ornament somewhere in the tree, and the first person to find it gets an extra present or good luck for the coming year. It's like a festive game of hide-and-seek, but with a pickle. Just make sure you don't accidentally eat it!

5. The Running of the Santas

Move over, bulls—there's a new running event in town! In cities around the world, people gather to participate in the Running of the Santas. Dressed in full Santa Claus regalia, participants dash through the streets, spreading holiday cheer (and probably working up a sweat). It's a sight to behold, with a sea of red and white bobbing up and down as Santas of all shapes and sizes make their way to the finish line. It's like a marathon, but with more jolly laughter and fewer blisters.

So, whether you're carving radishes, dodging mischievous trolls, or running through the streets in a Santa suit, these quirky holiday traditions are sure to make your season a little more merry and bright. Embrace the weirdness, have fun, and remember that the holiday season is all about creating memories (and maybe a few laughs) with the ones you love. 

ILS will be closed Friday December 22, 2023 through Monday December 25, 2023. Happy holidays from all of us at ILS! 

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