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occasion decorations
Family traditions are often centred around seasonal celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. And although we love to continue the ones we have had since childhood, we also like to create new traditions that add to the fun. Some evolve naturally but maybe you are looking to start something a bit out there, a bit different from the norm, a bit ‘extra’. You could consider some of these…. 
Valentine’s 
In Japan the girls spoil the boys/men with yummy, high quality chocolates. However the girls/women get the better deal in the end – on the 14th of March (White Day), those who received the chocolates are expected to return the favour but with gifts 2 to 3 times more expensive than the chocolates and include presents such as jewellery and fancy underwear! I don’t know about you but this is definitely a tradition I’m thinking of introducing! 
It is believed in Slovenia that birds, yes the feathered variety, ‘propose’ to each other on Valentine’s Day…maybe we need to include some bird decorations along with hearts on our celebration trees? 
 
Easter 
Many places in the world celebrate Easter with beautiful colourful eggs. But in Greece they have to be red which is the colour of life and also represents the blood of Christ. These eggs are a symbol of life and victory over death. 
I’m not too sure about this one…. In the Czech Republic and Slovenia the tradition is for men and boys to roam the streets with decorated willow switches to ‘lightly whip’ the girls. This is meant to encourage good health and beauty…guess it depends on whether they get a bit carried away! Haha 
People in Bermuda fly homemade, brightly coloured, kites on Easter Friday. I love this idea but the British weather may not be so conducive to this! 
 
Halloween 
Many countries light candles, leave food and drink out for deceased loved ones, and visit churches to honour saints for Halloween. In Germany they go one step further and during the week leading up to Halloween, they hide all the household knives for fear of hurting any souls that return to earth during this time. 
In Bolivia they decorate real skulls with flowers, jewellery, hats and glasses to honour the dead. This is believed to bring good fortune and protection. 
Barmbrack is a dense fruitcake make in Ireland. At Halloween, the cake would have a ring, a piece of cloth and a stick hidden inside it. It was said that whoever got the ring would marry, whoever got the piece of cloth would enter the clergy, and whoever got the stick would remain single. Maybe you could do something similar but have your own family beliefs as to what the objects mean – and maybe change the stick and the cloth for something you can sterilise before putting in a cake! 
 
Christmas 
Find the Christmas Pickle! This is a German tradition where an ornament of a pickle (gherkin) is the last thing to be hung on the Christmas tree. The first child who finds the pickle in the morning will receive a special present. 
In the Venezuelan city of Caracas, many people roller-skate to mass on Christmas morning and is so popular that many of the streets are closed to traffic to allow the skaters to arrive to church safely…where would you go? A lot of people go for a walk before lunch – maybe skating is the new Christmas walk?! 
Ukrainians use decorations that look like spiders’ web to decorate their trees, which are considered to bring good luck. The legend says that spiders in a poor widow’s house took pity on her when she couldn’t afford to decorate the Christmas tree for her children and so spun beautiful webs all over the tree. I think we associate spiders’ webs with Halloween but maybe it’s time to introduce them to our Christmas decorations too? 
The Poop Log! This Catalonian tradition starts on the 8th of December and the poop log is made from a hollow log, with stick legs, and he has a smile and a red hat. Children ‘feed’ him treats and keep him warm under a blanket until Christmas eve…then it gets a bit dark…they beat him with sticks whilst singing "Poop log, Poop nougats, Hazelnuts and mato cheese, If you don't poop well, I'll hit you with a stick, Poop log!" The poop log then ‘magically’ poops out presents and sweets before being thrown on to the fire! 
 
What do you think? Too much or, wow, this is a must for us? Have you got any weird or wonderful traditions that could inspire us? 
 
 
Products shown:  
Skulls: Felt So Good  
Flower: Roelofs & Rubens 
Spider and web: Felt So Good  
Bird: Missy Mac 
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