Hey, remember us? The guys from that Hostel that never shut up about people? Well, it’s Christmas, and at Christmas you tell the truth. So there, we confess. We love people. All kinds of people. But especially the traveling people, those who come to stay with us and leave behind a spark of their individual shine that gives our houses the soul we love so much. Because without the people, all we’d have are a bunch of empty rooms with lockers.

Today, Christmas is one foot out the door and New Year is already warming up for the countdown, so let’s wave the best three days of winter goodbye with the proper attention they deserve.

But first, some Christmas fun facts! You know we love interrupting our stories with more stories.

If there’s one thing that makes Christmas at Hostels special (and this applies to all hostels around the world) it has to be the incredible diversity it brings with it. A stop for travelers of all sizes, shapes and forms, hostels have that special perk that’s hard to recreate. And that perk is all about culture.

Because Christmas might be the most popular holiday in both the E.U. and the U.S. and it comes with a few stereotypes that everybody loves, like the tree and the gifts and the cookies (ah, the cookies), but it is definitely way more layered than you’d think!

Which is a good thing. Because travelers, as much as they love new experiences, get shy just as much as anybody. And the togetherness that comes with holidays gives them the perfect setting for bonding over stories. Which stories? Christmas stories!

And what better way to get as many of these than to bring people together and let them tell us? Food is the ultimate connector, so we gave our Circus Cafe a nice festive makeover, cooked up a storm and let the holiday mood kick in. We’re thrilled to say our master plan worked like a charm! Another wonderful Circus Christmas dinner is under our Santa’s belt and today we’re bringing you in on the stuff. Because it’s Christmas, and at Christmas you share.

Another interesting thing about Christmas is how it gives an illusion of being more or less the same in every country, until you create a hype around quirky details found in different cultures. Then the fun starts. Before you know it, everyone is trying to outshine and outrage with their own “weird” Christmas custom. Now sit back and have fun reading through our top 3 picks of the funky stuff we’ve heard over this holiday season.

Oh, and we’re counting backwards. Shocking, we know. So!

3. Kicking off with the scariest on the list, it’s our neighbor Austria. Not only do we share the language and the love for all things sausage, but we love adding scary to the fun. Ever heard of Krampus? Not such a pretty sight, we agree. I guess now we know the secret weapon of German and Austrian mothers. Hey, whatever gets the kids to behave…

2. The runner up is another Christmas tradition that has weird written all over it! This one is found a bit higher up north. When you hear Sweden your first thought is probably related to Stockholm. But have you heard of Gävle? Smack in the middle of Sweden, what it lacks in sunshine it makes up for in giant goats. It’s scary and impressive at the same time, and the weird part is kinda self-explanatory. And at 13 meters tall, you might wanna keep your distance…just saying…

1. The winner of this weird countdown comes from the quirky and colorful Japan. Not very big on celebrating the traditional Christmas, they used the opportunity to take this famous date to a new level of weird. Known as the country of amazing sushi and great seafood, Japanese definitely took a western approach to this one. Behold the traditional KFC dinner! Hat’s off, Japan, when it comes to quirky, you always deliver!

And you? What’s your weird Christmas story? Tell us, we’d love to hear it!

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