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December 22, 2018

Greetings fellow Bizarros:

ATV 2018Like the comedian Jim Gaffigan pointed out, a lot of our holiday traditions seem like the actions of a drunk. Who chops down a tree and drags it inside their house (without drinking a 12 pack of beer and a half pint of whiskey first)? But our holiday oddities seem quaint and homey compared to some of the bizarre things they do to celebrate Christmas around the world.

In Catalonia, families gather around the "caga tio," a log that's decorated with a cartoon face and plied with treats in the weeks before Christmas. On Christmas day, the children sing a song and beat the log with sticks until it 'poops' out presents (caga is the Catalonian equivalent of 'caca,' and means 'pooping').

In Austria, the Christmas season kicks off on Dec. 5 with Krampusnacht Krampus, St. Nick's demonic polar opposite, is a goat-horned devil that shakes fistfuls of rusty chains at passing children. According to legend, naughty kids are snatched by Krampus and dragged to his mountain lair. In more recent years, the custom has morphed into a sort of Halloween in December, giving people a chance to dress up and parade around in their ghoulish costumes.

In the Netherlands, the Dutch add a little fear to their holiday celebrations with Zwarte Piet. In a rather racist custom that has persisted to this day, Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter, is Santa's slave who abducts Dutch children that misbehave, taking them back to Spain, where it is said that Santa and Peter spend their off-season. In a scene many Americans would find shocking, the Dutch dress up as Black Peter, donning black face and Afro wigs, in order to accompany Santa.

So don't be too critical when Dad dresses up at Santa this year and smells a little like scotch and cigarettes. It could be a lot worse.


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Woman Breaks Up With Ghost Pirate Husband

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A 45-year-old Irish woman married the ghost of an 18th-century Haitian pirate after the couple met when she felt his presence laying beside her in bed in 2014. Amanda Teague, from Drogheda, traveled to international waters to marry her pirate partner Jack through the means of a medium after telling the spirit that she was no longer happy to just have casual sex. Teague, who has five children from a previous marriage with a living man, believes she has found her 'soulmate' in Jack, who was executed over 300 years ago for theft at sea. The marriage was not to last, however, and she took to social media to announce their split. "So I feel it's time to let everyone know that my marriage is over," Teague wrote. "I will explain all in due course but for now all I want to say is be VERY careful when dabbling in spirituality, it's not something to mess with..."

KFC Creates Fried Chicken Scented Fire Log

Kentucky Fried Chicken is getting into the holiday spirit with an unusual product -- a fire log designed to smell like fried chicken. The KFC 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog, created in partnership with Enviro-Log, is designed to emulate the smell of the fast food chain's Colonel's Secret Recipe chicken. "For more than a million years, mankind has been attempting to improve upon the simple fire," KFC said on its website. "We've tried burning different things like sticks or leaves or various incriminating documents. All of that experimentation, all of that innovation, has culminated in this event, the KFC 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog," the chain said. The log, which is available for $18.99 while supplies last, comes with an important disclaimer: "Please don't put face directly into fire in attempt to smell fried chicken."


LEWIS; Sheesh! Shouldn't we expect a cop or any so-called gun expert to use a non-lethal toy gun or at least double-check that gun is unloaded when used for demonstration purposes? I'd recommend a transparent plastic water pistol for such demonstrations. ~ R.S.R.
[You'd think that the very first lesson of gun safety would be to make sure that the weapon in NOT loaded. It's worth a shot! Maybe the instructor was absent that day of class.]

Switching out Bibles for sex novels? As a Christian myself, I would be outraged to find that trash where I expected the Word of God. --Chris
[Either way people are calling out: "Oh, God! Oh, God!"]