December 22, 2016 • History Factory
For centuries, groups of wassail singers in South Wales, U.K., have dressed as the Mari Lwyd (the Grey Mare), represented by a horse’s skull mounted to a pole, which is carried by a man underneath a sheet. This ancient pantomime is done to ward off evil spirits.
Less than 1 percent of Japan’s population observes Christmas Day, but due to a wildly successful holiday marketing campaign, that small demographic often celebrates with a festive meal from KFC.
In Norway, Yuletide is thought to be peak season for witches and spirits. To keep these malevolent entities grounded, Norwegians make sure any brooms at home are well hidden.
Forget tinsel and popcorn—Ukrainians trim their Christmas trees with cobwebs! The tradition is based on the fable of a poor woman who could not afford to decorate her tree, but awakened to find a spider had done so for her.
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