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11 Crazy Winter Traditions You Might Not Know About

December 28, 2018 GMT

Winter (especially December) is a time we associate with the holidays, but it’s not just about Christmas and Hanukkah. There are numerous traditions celebrated here and around the globe that honor the change of the seasons and the arrival of winter. Some of the customs, rituals, and festivals are a bit strange, but quite interesting, so we compiled a list of some of the more unusual.

11 Unusual Winter Traditions

1. Shoe Toss? On Christmas Day, Czech women throw a shoe at their house to determine if they’ll get married in the new year. How the shoe lands is key: if it lands with the heel facing the house, the woman can expect to be single throughout the next year.


2. Dongzhi Festival is a Chinese festival that celebrates the arrival of the Winter Solstice, and is related to the philosophy of Yin and Yang. According to the Chinese, Yang symbolizes the positive, and Yin is negative. The positive things will become stronger after the Solstice — longer daylight hours and an increase in positive energy flowing in. Families celebrate by gathering together and enjoying a large meal which includes dumplings, in part because of this ancient legend: a sympathetic physician fed the poor homeless people of his town dumplings to keep their ears from getting frostbite. Because of this, some of the dumplings served during the festival are shaped like ears.

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