Christmas time is coming, and we are gradually starting to feel the Christmas spirit all around us. Well.. how can you not be excited? Christmas is a period of rejoice and celebrations, the world is literally lit with Christmas lights and, everyone on the streets, is celebrating!

And what better way to honor Christmas than to visit a nearby Christmas Market? Here is a special Hotel Collection that presents some of the most festive hotels that are located near Christmas Markets around the world.

The world is a strange place though, and people sometimes come up with some very peculiar ides for customs and traditions that can make you wonder. Let's discover some of the weirdest and funniest Christmas traditions around the world:

Gävle goat 

Sweden never seizes to amaze us, and this time it's with nothing more than a huge goat. Gavle Goat made its first appearance in 1966 and since then it has become a reference point during Christmas, both for the locals and visitors. It is completely made of straw, and it is erected every year on the first day of Advent (late November - early December). 

❅ Gavle Goat has been a victim of arson attacks since its first appearance, having been destroyed for about 36 times. Let's see if it survives 2017! We wish you good luck, pal!


Photo Credits: Čeněk Zibrt

Let's move into a more bizarre Christmas habit that was born in Austria, it has become, however,  a Christmas tradition in many other countries as well, such as North Italy, Czech Republic, and Austria. Krampus is a half goat, half demon creature, that is said to punish children who misbehaved, doing the exact opposite of Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved ones with Christmas gifts.

❅At Krampusnacht festival, taking  place every year in Klagenfurt, people gather together dressed like Krampus, in the streets of the town, making it look scarier than Halloween.

Tio de Nadal

Catalonia could be placed in the first position of the weirdest Christmas customs in our list.  Tio de Nadal, or else called Caga Tio (Shit Log), is actually a hollow log, with sticks as legs and a smiley face. It usually wears a red hat or a blanket over it. From December 8 to December 24, kids are asked to feed the log with various nuts, dried fruit and water, ensuring that it stays warm and comfortable. It's only until Christmas Eve, when the log realizes its awful fate. The children gather around it, beating it with sticks, singing a traditional song asking for sweets and cheese. When the log finally poops sweets, candies or fruits and nuts, the adults throw the log along with a garlic or an onion into the fireplace and burn it to the ground.

The Song: Shit log,
                        Shit nougats,
                        Hazelnuts and mató cheese,
                        If you don't shit well,
                        I'll hit you with a stick,
                       Shit log!

Pickle Ornament

Photo Credits: Christbaumschmuck der Firma Inge-Glas, Neustadt bei Coburg, Deutschland

It could not get more German-ish than this. The last ornament usually hung on a Christmas tree is none other than the star. The Germans think otherwise and have enriched their Christmas tree with a very peculiar ornament... a pickle! The ornament is actually hidden in the tree and the first child who finds it in the morning, gets a special gift. It is also an omen of good luck!

  There is actually a doubt if this custom actually derives from Germany, since many locals are unfamiliar with it. Since old times, Germans created  glass tree ornaments, in shape of fruits and vegetables, which were afterwards exported to the USA and other countries. 

Night of the Radishes

Photo Credits: AlejandroLinaresGarcia

For last, we have included a tradition that is not closely related to Christmas, but it is celebrated every late-December and it's pretty peculiar. The Night of the Radishes is an annual event, taking place in the city of Oaxaca in Mexico. The locals compete with sculptures, signs and structures made with radishes, in order to honor the year's radish harvest. 

❅ The event lasts only for a short time since the radishes wilt quickly after they are cut. Since the event has become very popular recently, it will take you at least 4 hours to see all the entries.

Hotels that TBI has recommended through special Hotel Collection about Christmas Markets