Winter Whats-its: Seriously Interesting Winter Facts World-Wide

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Mauritius isn’t exactly famed for its snow-caps- which is why we came up with a list of interesting winter facts. We know that it probably won’t shock you, but we’re a little fascinated with the cold winter months that strike most of the planet.

The winter traditions- the festivities- and the never-ending list of crazy inventions for winter fun keep us highly entertained. We hope you enjoy our interesting winter facts edition:

Traditionally Weird in Winter

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Photo by Beusson

Most people know that the actual Christmas date was a compromise for the Pagans, and that the Santa Claus we’re all familiar with came from an advert campaign. But these winter quirks are less well-known:

A Poo Log, Not a Yule Log. In Catalan, Spain, they hollow out a log and begin filling it- starting December 8- with sweets. They continue up to Christmas Eve or so, put it in the fireplace and beat it with sticks. Literally beating the stuffing (poo) out of it, which is then topped with garlic or a herring.

• A Proud Day for Dirtbags. A ski resort in Montana, U.S., has an official Dirtbag Day. It’s primarily for diehard skiers (not known for their attention to hygiene) and it’s a ‘festival, holiday tradition and Mardi Gras wrapped into one special day.’

• KFC Was Made for Xmas Lovers. The Japanese have adopted many Western traditions and adapted them in ways that are uniquely theirs. Take Christmas. It’s celebrated in Japan as a romantic holiday, where couples have romantic dates involving sweet cakes and KFC. KFC because ‘chicken is traditional Christmas food.’

• Vikings Re-fire the Isles. The last Tuesday of January, a host of gents dress up in their Viking best and tramp across the countryside setting fire to things. The Shetland Islanders finish the day by burning a large Viking ship. They do have a sense of humor about it- it’s also known as ‘Transvestite Tuesday.’

Strange Snow Sports and Winter Habits

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Photo by Randi Hausken

When you’ve got a fair amount of snow and cold for a few months out of the year, it makes sense that you’d get creative. Or crazy. Or a combination of the two. These are just a few that caught our interest:

• Trying to Coerce the Snow Gods. Apparently, some people are so impatient for the snow that they have mini rituals to make it snow. It includes putting a spoon under a pillow, making 5 laps around a table and various things with ice cubes.

• Snow Kneeboarding. It’s exactly what the name implies. You ride a board on your knees down a slope of snow. Some call it ‘Redneck Snowboarding,’ but we just think it sounds pretty fun.

• Skijoring, or Ski Mushing. It seems like snow activities are self-explanatory. This is a Norwegian sport of skiing behind dogs (like snow mushing with Huskies), or a horse, that pulls you. An alternative for more adventurous souls: behind snowmobiles or even cars.

• Turkey Bowling. You take a frozen turkey, preferably plucked, and use it like a bowling ball to knock down bottles on an icy lane.*

*We don’t know if it works with any other frozen fowl.

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Photo by Lynn Eubank

• Wok Racing. Similar to shovel racing, you sit on a modified wok and (for best results) go down a toboggan chute. For those of you lacking a nearby chute, it also works on a snowy hill. A yearly competition is held in Innsbruck, Austria.

That’s our summary of winter wackiness for your holiday reading pleasure. We hope you’ve enjoyed this, and we’d love to hear about your favorite interesting winter facts. Can you help us add to this list? Write us below!

Until soon- Happy Holidays to you and yours, from Ido Productions

We’ll leave you with a nice little video of some freestyle skiing:

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