Strange holiday traditions from around the world.

(091220) -- LONDON, Dec. 20, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Roller skaters dressed as Santa Clause skate along the streets during the Santa Skate in London, capital of Britain, on Dec. 19, 2009. More than 400 roller skaters from Britain and neighboring countries participated in the annual street skate on Saturday night, The event was originally launched in 2004. (Xinhua/An Zhiping) (wjd)

To many, there is no happier time than the holidays. Between family, gift-giving, and good food, there are a number of reasons why this is truly “the most wonderful time of the year.” However, not everyone celebrates this beloved time the same way. In fact, across the globe there are a number of off kilter holiday traditions that delight and thrill. The ECHO has compiled a list of the most exotic to show off.

 

SantaCon

Having recently celebrated its 23rd anniversary, SantaCon has expanded from its humble San Francisco roots, to become a worldwide pub crawl of yuletide dressed folks. According to the official website of Santa-Con, the event is “a conventions of santa’s – groups of men and women dressed as Santa.” The website has extremely strict guidelines for uniformity; one must wear the entire costume, and must only address other attendees as “Santa”

 

Krampus

Dwight Schrute’s favorite holiday tradition, this ancient germanic figure has terrified children for centuries. Described as the counterpart to Santa, Krampus is the character responsible for punishing poorly behaved children. Today, in many parts of Europe, young adults find great enjoyment in an annual tradition of dressing up as Krampus, and striking fear into the hearts of young children.

 

Roller Skating to Mass

For many, Church is not the most interesting part of the holiday celebration. The pastor gives the same rendition of the nativity story, and one is left with a happy, if a little dry, sermon. However, in Venezuela, there is an interesting twist on the classic past time. In that nation, many devout Catholics choose to roller skate to Christmas mass.  Taking streets by storm, Catholics by the thousands rollerskate to Church.

 

Regardless of how one decides to celebrate the holiday season, it is certain that there is nothing better than being surrounded by loved ones.

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