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Have yourself a metal little Christmas

6 of the most metal Christmas traditions out there

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger 

Have yourself a metal little Christmas! The holidays bring out the best — and most interesting — traditions out there. We're not talking making gingerbread houses or Christmas caroling, people. There are some awesome (and interesting) holiday traditions out there that any metalhead would enjoy.

Earlier this holiday season, we went through the legend of Krampus, a half-demon, half-goat who punished and steals bad children (yikes). And thanks to Kerrang!, we learned about a bunch of other holiday traditions out there. Here are a few of our favorites.

A spider ornament on a Christmas tree, which is part of a Ukrainian tradition

  1. The Yule Goat – A straw goat created as an ornament representing the Yule Goat, celebrating Viking-style traditions of Scandinavia. The invisible animal spirit ties into Thor, who rode a chariot pulled by two frost goats. Gåvle Goat, the most famous Yule Goat, erected in Gåvle, Sweden annually, is usually the victim of arson and makes the act of burning it its own Christmas tradition. Brutal.
  1. Mari Lwyd – A Welsh fold custom that involves a horse skull decked out with jeweled eyes and blue ribbons, attached to a pole and trailing a sheet. If the Krampus feels too commercial for you, the Mari Lwyd is sure to shake things up a bit. 
  1. Spiders on the Tree – A Ukrainian fairy tale spins the story of a widow and her children who raise a tree to be their Christmas tree, but cannot afford to decorate it. On Christmas morning, they discover the tree covered with cobwebs, which turn to gold and silver in the sunlight. Fake spiders and spiderwebs are placed on Christmas trees as tinsel-like ornaments.
  1. Burning the Devil – At 6:00 pm sharp every December 7, Guatemalans celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception by burning an effigy of the devil. A bonfire is built and piñata or statue of the Devil is torched.
  1. Whale Blubber and Fermented Seabird for Dinner - The traditional Christmas meal in Greenland usually includes mattak, a tough piece of whale skin with a strip of blubber on it that often has to be swallowed whole because it’s difficult to chew. Even tougher is kiviak, which is a seabird wrapped in seal skin and left to ferment for months before eating. I’ll stick to that Christmas ham, thank you.
  1. Hide Your Broom – Norwegians hide their brooms on Christmas Eve, hoping to keep witches from stealing them. The best way to do that is to hide your broom, of course. 

Related: The legend of Krampus near Christmas

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