Elbows off the table, you! And don’t speak with your mouth full! You may know it’s rude to show your feet in certain countries, or that you should never break wind during a funeral, but here are a few unusually acceptable customs around the world that may make your mother blush. (The cute, featured image, above, is by Barcelona.cat.)
Caganers – Spain
During Christmas in Catalonia in northern Spain, nativity scenes are invaded by mischievous defecating gatecrashers called “caganers”. In there, among little figurines of Mary and baby Jesus, you might find a small depiction of President Obama or Ronaldo dropping off a present that’s neither gold, frankincense nor myrrh.
Many are also hidden around the house and children are encouraged to find the little poopers.
Makes quite a change from Easter egg hunts, doesn’t it?
Polterabend – Germany
If you were having a party and all your guests came along and smashed breakables in and around your house, you might feel somewhere between incensed and livid. But in Germany this is a pre-wedding tradition for many couples-to-be. When they’re picking up the pieces, their eyes meeting over broken dinner plates, they know the clean up symbolises their strength as a couple to overcome future difficulties.
So sweet, but quite insane.
Any budding entrepreneurs out there may want to invest in German crockery at the rate they go through the stuff.
Day of Conception – Russia
Back in 2006, in a laterally-minded ploy to tackle Russia’s waning birth rate, the governor of the Ulyanovsk region announced that couples who gave birth to children on Russia Day, the 12th of June, could win cash and other prizes.
To help things along, the 12th of September also became an annual public holiday, sexily called “Day of Conception”, so that couples had a whole day exactly nine months beforehand to get their politically-endorsed groove on.
Unsurprisingly, this wholly patriotic holiday has become very popular, much to President Putin’s delight.Adam Zulawski