Cascade Title's Manager Message
Ho-ho-ho and Merry Christmas to all! Santa Joel here, and here we are already at the month of December with Christmas just around the corner. I think of Christmas as a time to gather the family, enjoy the spirit of the season and to spend time reflecting on what Christmas really means to each and every one of us. Every faith and every family certainly has their own traditions and most of those are familiar to us, but I decided to take a look at some of the more unusual traditions around the world and I think you will be just as surprised to read what I have found.
The hiding of all brooms on Christmas Eve night is a very old Norwegian tradition. In the old days people believed witches and evil spirits came out on this night looking for brooms to ride on, so they hid them in the safest places possible. Today, Norwegian women still hide their brooms, mops and brushes before going to sleep, while the men sometimes sneak out of the house and fire a shotgun to scare off the witches. If you ask me, brooms must be very expensive in Norway, especially if people go through all this trouble just to prevent them from getting stolen.
In the Czech Republic single women perform a very unusual ritual on Christmas Eve Day just to find out if they will marry in the following year. With their backs to their house front door, they throw one of their shoes over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, she will definitely stay single for another year, while if the front of the shoe points towards the door, it means she will move out of her parent's house, and should start making wedding preparations. I think my parents just kicked me out of the house with a boot and goodbye!
Now with this one, I have definitely found one of the messiest Christmas traditions in the world and strongly advise you to please not try it at home, unless you plan to have your living room repainted soon. In Slovakia, at the beginning of Christmas Eve dinner, the head of the family takes a spoon of Loksa (a traditional Christmas dish made out of bread, poppy seed filling and water) and throws it up at the ceiling. The more mixture that remains glued on the ceiling the richer his crops will be the following year. It's a fun custom popular in many areas of Slovakia and the Ukraine, but the women that have to clean up the mess don't like it so much. I think I remember one of my teachers getting mad at us boys for doing this with spit balls! I must have some Slovakian in me!
Now this one is really different and I have no idea what brought it on, but it has to make up for a lack of cable TV! Now this actually started-off as an act of vandalism and now has become one of the most interesting traditions in Sweden. For over 40 years the Swedish town of Gavle has erected a giant Goat made of straw to mark the beginning of the holiday season. But every year vandals do everything they can to burn down the goat before Christmas Day. Since 1966, the Straw Goat has survived until Christmas Day only 10 times. People disguise themselves as Santa Claus or elves to get past the guardians and ignite the straw monument.
I hope you have enjoyed this and from my family to yours, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all of God's blessings for a Happy New Year!