12/24/2013 07:57 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 01:38 EST

35 Bizarre Christmas Traditions Around The World (INFOGRAPHIC)

Sean Gallup via Getty Images
HAIMING, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 01: Members of the Haiminger Krampusgruppe dressed as the Krampus creature parade on the town square during their annual Krampus night in Tyrol on December 1, 2013 in Haiming, Austria. Krampus, in Tyrol also called Tuifl, is a demon-like creature represented by a fearsome, hand-carved wooden mask with animal horns, a suit made from sheep or goat skin and large cow bells attached to the waist that the wearer rings by running or shaking his hips up and down. Krampus has been a part of Central European, alpine folklore going back at least a millennium, and since the 17th-century Krampus traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas and angels on the evening of December 5 to visit households to reward children that have been good while reprimanding those who have not. However, in the last few decades Tyrol in particular has seen the founding of numerous village Krampus associations with up to 100 members each and who parade without St. Nicholas at Krampus events throughout November and early December. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A rotund man in a red suit and a white beard flies around the world in a sleigh powered by reindeer to deliver presents for boys and girls deemed "nice" after spying on them for a year.

Yes, the crux of Christmas Eve may sound kind of strange depending on how and who you explain it to, but if you think this concept is a little to fare-fetched, perhaps a look at these Christmas traditions around the world, courtesy of Love Home Swap, will put things in perspective.

For some in South Africa, Christmas is the perfect time to eat deep-fried caterpillars from the Emperor Moth. It's a little unclear why it's a tradition but research shows that the grub is highly nutritious. Meanwhile, there are those in Japan who keep the deep-fried goodness but trade caterpillars for chicken, a la KFC.

Other regions eschew the idea of a man doling out presents and call upon a descendent of witches or young girls who resemble Christ to hand out sweets and gifts to little children. On the other end of the spectrum is the infamous Krampus who punishes naughty children with a switch and is said to roam the lands of Austria and other parts of Eastern Europe.

Yet despite all these differences, there's a common theme stringing these traditions together: Reward the good, punish the bad and spend December with loved one in hopes of a better, brighter new year.

Happy Holidays!

How do you celebrate Christmas? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @HPCaTravel.

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