This is how Christmas is celebrated around the world

From 'pooping' logs to festivals featuring monstrous creatures, these are the weird and wonderful Christmas traditions around the globe

25 December 2018 - 00:00 By Matthew Vice

Okay, yes, everyone knows who Santa Claus is — but how many people know the origins of the character? Well, nobody knows every detail, but he’s probably an amalgamation of several figures including the actual Saint Nicholas of Myra; Sinterklaas, a Dutch legendary figure based on Saint Nicholas; and, most surprisingly, Odin, a mythological figure from European Paganism.

Though the origins of many winter solstice celebrations are speculative, the origins of Kwanzaa are quite well documented. In case you don’t know, it’s a celebration of African heritage that lasts from December 26 to January 1 each year, created in 1966 by US secular humanist and Black Power activist Maulana Karenga. Originally it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas in Christianity, which Karenga disliked, but eventually the anti-Christian sentiment was dropped so that Kwanzaa could be more inclusive. Among its traditions is the lighting of a kinara, a seven armed candelabrum similar to the Jewish Menorah...

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