Usually all of the scary holiday stuff is reserved for October around Halloween. The Winter holidays are usually about giving, parties, and new beginnings. Well, you know what? Some cultures are just different than what you would expect and you just have to deal with it even if dealing with it means having horrible nightmares. Some of these are super scary. Here are terrifying Winter holiday traditions
You would think something called Yule Cat would be an adorable cat friend for Santa that he shares his milk with in Iceland. Nope. Yule Cat is a terrible monster who abducts lazy children. How does he know who the lazy kids are? The lazy kids are the ones that aren't wearing new clothes. Sorry, poor people!
This is the only American tradition on this list. While most of the traditions on this list are sort of creepy myths, this one is actually a real and dangerous thing. It's the biggest shopping day of the year and people act like rabid animals trying to get the best deals at stores like Wal-Mart. If you attend a Black Friday event, you're probably going to end up with a black eye or a stab wound. The only cool thing about it is that it's the closet most of us will ever get to being in a zombie mob.
In Portugal, they have a Christmas morning feast called consoda. It's a really nice tradition because you get to eat with all of your family members. Even the dead ones. They leave plates out to invite the souls of their dead relatives to join them for the feast. I tried this last year, but it sort of backfired because at the gift exchange my great great great uncle got me bleeding walls for Christmas.
In Bavaria, they dress up in these super creepy straw devil costumes and run around in the streets scaring each other. This is a pagan tradition that sort of got converted in to a Christmas tradition at some point. It doesn't really seem like they changed much in the conversion though. I think they should at least be wearing Santa hats. They're not even trying!
These Greek goblins aren't just going after naughty kids. They're trying to destroy the entire world. They are sawing through the world tree to try to destroy everything. Once a year during Christmas, they come out from the underground to try to mess with mortals. During that time, the world tree heals and everyone is saved. Yay! The Mayan apocalypse is happening right around the time of year that the Kallikantzaroi almost finishing sawing through the tree. Maybe this year will be the one that they finally saw all the way through. IT'S NOT JUST A COINCIDENCE!
This Welsh tradition is a lot like Christmas caroling. You go from house to house singing songs and hoping that the people you sing to will give you snacks and drinks. The difference being that usually when you Christmas carol, you don't dress up as a monster with a horse skull for a head. If that wasn't scary enough, they usually rig the jaw so whoever is in the costume can try to bite people. The tradition is supposed to bring you good luck, but if I had good luck then I wouldn't be getting nipped at by a guy in a dead horse costume.
What terrifying holiday traditions do you celebrate? Let me know on twitter @zachlunch or in the comments below!