Five strange Christmas traditions that are worth the trip

AS WE kick off December many of us are beginning to plan our holiday festivities.   

For most, Christmas and New Years can be quite routine, splitting the day between a number of family and friends we feel obligated to visit.  

So this year, if you plan on packing up and escaping the traditional, I've compiled my top five destinations which celebrate this holiday in the wackiest of ways!  

  • According to Norwegian tradition, Christmas Eve brings the summoning of the witches and evil spirits to look for brooms to ride. To counter this bad omen of the jolly season, all brooms around the house are hidden and Norwegian men are sent outside, shotgun in hand, to fire a shot and scare the bad spirits away.
  • Christmas dinner has never sounded so appealing in Japan, with Kentucky Fried Chicken at the top of the menu! Apparently, the American creation of KFC is so popular on Christmas Day that families have to make reservations at KFC restaurants in order to secure their spot to eat.
  • Make like the polar bears and dive into freezing water if you plan to spend New Year's Eve in the USA or Canada. In its early stages of 'tradition' status, it has become progressively acceptable to gather with a large group of people around a lake or river and jump in- clothes optional of course. According to the polar bear divers themselves, the closer to midnight you jump in the more luck you have coming your way in the New Year. [Disclaimer: No, Fast Cover Travel Insurance doesn't cover polar bear diving!]
  • Heading back down to the Americas, several South American counties like Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil celebrate New Year's Eve by wearing brightly coloured underwear. While red will bring you true love, wearing a pair of yellow underwear when the clock strikes midnight will bring you wealth and prosperity in the New Year.
  • Seeing New Year's Eve as the prime opportunity to find out if they will live another year as a single lady, Belarusian bachelorettes participate in a series of fortune-telling activities involving placing piles of corn in front of each single woman and letting a rooster loose. Based on the pile of corn eaten, the rooster signifies which single women will be snapped up, and who will remain single another year. Yep. Apparently.

So celebrate the holidays your way - but don't forget that diving with giant predators or attempting to fly a broom off the side of a cliff are not 'sports' that you'll find covered by your Fast Cover Travel insurance policy.

But hey, you only live once and anything's better than another New Year's midnight kiss from 80 year old Aunty Karen… right?  

Dean Van Es, CEO, Fast Cover

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