December 23, 2016 12:33 pm

In photos: From Krampus to bears, holiday traditions from around the world

A child wearing a bear skin is pictured on the streets of Comanesti city on December 30, 2015 during a parade to drive away evil spirits of the past year.

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images
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Many cities and countries have their own unique ways of celebrating over the Christmas holidays, such as scaring children with goat-horned demon costumes, fireworks fights and burning away the evils of the last year. Here are a few.

1. “Procession of the Kings” in Barcelona, Spain

King Melchior makes his way through thousands of children collecting cards with gift wishes as the magi kings arrive in the Port of Barcelona.

Matthias Oesterle / Corbis via Getty Images

On the evening of Jan. 5, the Three Wise Men arrive in Barcelona and parade through the town, where they are welcomed by children. Kids write letters with their Christmas wishes and give them to the Kings, hoping they’ll get what they asked for when they open their presents on Jan. 6.

2. “Krampus” in the Czech Republic

Actors dressed as ‘Krampus’ figures present a show of a traditional costume in Kaplice, South Bohemia, on December 12, 2015. The ‘Krampus’ figures, who belong to a centuries old costume common in the Christmas season, traditionally are known as creatures who punish children that misbehaved.

MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images

Krampus is a traditional figure in Eastern Europe who scares – and sometimes whips – children into good behaviour. Parades of people dressed as Krampus are common in the Czech Republic.

3. St. Nicholas and the devil in Francova Lhota, Czech Republic

Participants dressed in traditional costumes to look like devils walk from house to house during the traditional St. Nicholas parade on December 3, 2016 in the village of Francova Lhota, Czech Republic.

Matej Divizna / Getty Images

In some villages of the Wallachia region, St. Nicholas and people dressed as devils roam from house to house for two or three days. St. Nicholas gives sweets and small gifts as presents to children, and the devils get up to mischief.

4. Lechon in the Philippines

A worker applies oil onto bamboo skewered pigs as his colleagues rotate them while they are roasted over hot coals in Manila on December 23, 2015.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

Roasted pig, known as “lechon,” is regular fare at Philippine festivities, especially during Christmas and New Year celebrations.

5. Bearskins in Romania

A child wearing a bear skin is pictured on the streets of Comanesti city on December 30, 2015 during a parade to drive away evil spirits of the past year.

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

In parts of Romania, locals celebrate the new year by parading through the streets in bearskins to scare away the evil spirits of the past year. A century ago, they used to have real bears.

6. Burning the Christmas Tree stump in Lithuania

People participate in winter solstice celebrations to complete the Christmas ‘Blukis’ (stump) burning ceremony at Lukiskes Square in Vilnius on December 21, 2012.

PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

During the winter solstice, people in Vilnius, Lithuania drag a stump around the town, beat it and then burn it to get rid of the evils of the past year.

7. Fireworks in Remedios, Cuba

Cubans celebrate Christmas Eve with the festival of Las Parrandas de Remedios, where the two neighborhoods of the town, San Salvador, represented by a rooster, and El Carmen, represented by a hawk, battle for honor with competing fireworks displays on December 24, 2015 in Remedios, Cuba.

David Silverman/Getty Images

People in Remedios, Cuba celebrate Christmas Eve with a massive fireworks battle between two competing neighbourhoods.

According to tradition, in 1820 the local Catholic priest tried to combat a decline in Mass attendance ahead of Christmas Eve by attracting worshipers by sending children into the street to make noise. Over time this developed into Las Parrandas, a carnival-type festival which engages the whole town in a night-long festivity with raucous bands, huge floats and a seemingly endless supply of home-made fireworks.

8. The Gavle Goat of Sweden

People look at fireworks during the inauguration of the traditional Gavle Goat on November 29, 2015 in Gavle, Sweden.

MATS ASTRAND/TT/AFP/Getty Images

Every year at the beginning of Advent, the town of Gavle, Sweden displays a massive goat figurine. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw.

9. St. Anthony’s pig in Vilarandelo, Portugal

A resident of Vilarandelo pets a pig called Toninho, near Chaves, on December 15, 2015.

FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images

In 2015, the village of Vilarandelo, Portugal decided to bring back an old tradition: the Saint Anthony’s pig. A piglet is bought and left to wander around freely in the village while being fed by the population. On Christmas Eve a draw is held, and the lucky winner is supposed to turn it to pork. However that year, “Little Tony” the pig conquered the hearts of local residents and no one had the guts to kill him.

10. Bonfires in Florina, Greece

A young man runs in front of the big fire in central Florina.

NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images

On Christmas Eve in the town of Florina in northern Greece and the surrounding villages, locals light big fires in every part of the city. This tradition is said to ward off evil spirits and symbolizes the shepherds who visit the newborn Christ. Around the fires, locals and tourists dance, drink wine and eat bean soup.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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