There are some Christmas traditions found around the world which might seem a bit odd to most Americans. For instance:

In South Africa, a Christmas Day delicacy is the deep fried caterpillar of the Emperor Moth.

It may not be much better in Greenland, where a Christmas favorite is raw whale skin served with blubber. For dessert, I suppose, they turn to dead auk birds which were stuffed in sealskins and allowed to ferment for months.

In Austria, children dread the possible arrival of Krampus, a Christmas devil who beats naughty children with branches.

In Germany, a pickle is hidden in the Christmas tree on Christmas eve, and the first child to find it on Christmas morning gets a small gift.

Perhaps the most hopeful custom is in the Czech Republic, where unmarried women stand by the door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the shoe lands pointing toward the door, then the woman will get married during the coming year!

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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