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Decorating the family Christmas tree, lighting the Chanukah menorah, or eating a piece of Rosca de Reyes (Kings Ring). These are just some of the heartwarming traditions families throughout the U.S. participate in during the holiday season.

Here in Memphis, for example, the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the official lighting ceremony that takes place at Graceland every year. In 2014, the honor of flipping the switch went to John Stamos, actor and whose voice is heard on Graceland’s new iPad tour.

Elsewhere around the world, people do things a little – and sometimes a lot – differently. Here are 8-holiday customs that will make our gingerbread house decorating and yule-tide caroling seem rather ordinary.

  1. In South Africa, deep-fried caterpillars are a Christmas Day delicacy.
  2. Don’t even think about tidying up on Christmas Eve in Norway. All brooms are hidden in case evil witches and spirits try to steal them.
  3. In Germany, a pickle is hidden in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The first child to find it in the morning receives a small gift.
  4. In Great Britain, each member of the family must stir the Christmas pudding mix clockwise and make a wish.
  5. A peeled almond is stashed inside a rice pudding mix in Sweden. The first person to find it will be married in the coming year.
  6. In Newfoundland, mummers (people dressed in elaborate disguises) travel from house to house to sing and dance. If the homeowner identifies the summer, the unmasked guest is gifted food and drink.
  7. On December 5th, German children leave a shoe outside hoping to find it filled with treats the next morning. However, those who are naughty find a tree branch instead.
  8. Each Christmas, the oldest man in a Slovakia household throws a spoonful of traditional loksa pudding at the ceiling. The more that sticks, the luckier he’ll be in the coming year.

Whatever your holiday traditions might be, all of us at Conway Services wish you and yours a happy, safe, and fun-filled holiday season and beyond.