Around the world, people of different races adhere to traditional and national holidays. Who doesn’t love a holiday? While there are universal holidays like Christmas and New Year celebrated by millions, some of the more interesting festivals happen remotely. In this article, we’ve collated some interesting holiday facts from different parts of the world:
Commercial stores in the US offer huge discounts on Memorial Day
The US is not the only country that has a Memorial Day, but one of the most fascinating Memorial Day facts is that most of the country’s retail stores offer sales and discounts to the masses when the day comes. Memorial Day honors the life of military personnel who served their country with pride and valor. It’s one of the most important holidays in the United States, and commercial establishments saw it fit to offer sales and discounts to the general public to commemorate the troops.
There’s a holiday in Wales where people run as Santa Claus
There’s a holiday in Wales where one can dress as a Santa Claus and run a marathon. Called the Santa Run in Newton, Wales, the celebration is a yearly event and is done for charity. At least 5,000 people sign up to run a 7-kilometer route, with some even going the extra mile of bringing gifts. The charity of choice changes every year, so you might want to check the fun festival out if you’re in the area!
Eating KFC is a tradition in Japan for Christmas
Technically, there’s no Christmas in Japan, but the great country of anime and minimalism has a Christmas tradition unlike any other country in the world. Instead of serving a homemade meal for Christmas dinner, households opt to serve KFC chicken! The tradition stemmed from foreigners living in the country needing a traditional meal on Christmas eve. This caught on with many locals, so much so that KFC restaurants recommend for people to reserve their orders two months before Christmas.
In Venezuela, roller-skating to church is a Christmas tradition
Another great Christmas tradition is roller skating to the church in Venezuela. In this great Latin country, going to church for nine days straight before Christmas is a tradition done in several Catholic regions worldwide. It’s called Misa de Gallo, and you basically go to church every dawn to hear mass and eat rice cakes after. If you complete the entire nine dawns, it’s said that you’ll be granted one wish.
In Venezuela, instead of walking or driving to church, the roads are closed by authorities to make way for the roller skating public. On the way, roller skaters are encouraged to tug long string pieces from children, which is tied to their big toes. Some people will choose to walk to church, but teenagers and young adults usually seize the opportunity of having the city’s main roads to themselves.
In Thailand, villagers lay out food for monkeys on Thanksgiving week
Thanksgiving may be a popular holiday in the US and Canada, but other countries don’t celebrate it. In Thailand, however, while Thanksgiving may not be celebrated nationwide, a group of villagers prepares a buffet feast not for people but also for monkeys! Villagers will lay down food on a table, and monkeys will come down to eat it. In some cases, monkeys are even offered soda!
The day before Christmas eve, radishes are carved in Mexico
For Halloween, traditional crops like squash, pumpkins, and gourds are carved and outfitted with lights on for decoration. But in Oaxaca, Mexico, vegetable carving comes a whole month later with Night of the Radishes. On this fateful day, radishes are picked for its size and shape, then carved into nativity scenes and the like. It’s a preparation for Christmas, so to speak, as its only two days away.
These are just some of the few interesting holidays that happen all over the world. While some may seem and look stranger than others, remember to offer your respects when you get the chance to experience any of the festivals and holidays mentioned above.