Unusual Winter Traditions


A lot of us have one, that one special thing that your family does around Christmas time. We talked about the Elf on the Shelf the other day that seems to be one of the newer holiday traditions.

What’s yours? We especially wanna here the really crazy ones too!


Take for instance what will happen in an upstate New York resort town of Saratoga Springs which has a peppermint twist:

They sell pig-shaped hard candies with little metal hammers to smash them at Christmas.

The peppermint pigs, which can weigh up to a pound, are considered good luck charms by some. Family members will take turns whacking the piggy tokens of holiday cheer into little candy shards.

Why pigs?

It could be related to the marzipan pigs northern European confectioners make at holiday time as good luck symbols. They say it's possible chefs at the old hotels in Saratoga Springs in the late 19th century couldn't easily make marzipan, so they improvised with peppermint hard candy.

In the old days, the pig was placed on the Christmas dinner table. Father would wrap it in a napkin and crack it with the steel rod used to sharpen knives so the family could share the sweet-tasting bits, Fitzgerald said. But by the mid-20th century, the area holiday tradition went the way of lit candles on Christmas trees.

How many pigs are sold and made a year? More than 1.8 billion

Any results of good luck when smashing the pig? A Georgia woman bought a pig on a lark in 1997 and shared it with her family on Christmas. A good luck streak followed that included a raise for her husband, one son bagging the biggest buck of his life and another son's team winning a basketball tournament.


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