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Holiday Traditions Game

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thanks, everybody. Thank you so much. Christmas of 2018 - it's now in the past, but in just a few days, stores will be putting out their decorations for next Christmas.

KURTIS: Only 316 (ph) shopping days left.

SAGAL: If you think our holiday traditions are strange, you'll feel a little better or a little more worried when you hear this game about Christmas around the world. Right now, panel, it's time for a holiday game we're calling...

KURTIS: Ho, ho, ho - no.

SAGAL: Christmas traditions are strange. We put dead trees in our living room. We kiss strangers under wads of berries and leaves. Jews light candles and think we're fooling anybody.


SAGAL: But some holiday traditions are stranger than others. We're going to ask you about real traditions from around the world. Guess which one is true and get a point. You ready to go?


SAGAL: All right. Tom, in Venezuela, people attend Christmas Mass, but there's a twist. Is it, A, church-goers arrive on roller skates, or B, they serve a lot of extra communion wine, and then they all go home drunk?

TOM BODETT: Well, B's too obvious. I'm going to say A.

SAGAL: Yes, A - they travel...


SAGAL: ...To Mass on roller skates. They tried ice skating, but it keeps melting. They're down near the equator.


SAGAL: Alonzo, there's a Christmas Eve tradition in Norway that feels oddly like Halloween. Is it, A, people serve a treat called candy corn, but it's just raw corn dipped in sugar, or B, people hide all the brooms in the house so witches can't steal them?

ALONZO BODDEN: Wow. I'm going to go and hide the brooms.

SAGAL: You're right. They hide...


SAGAL: ...All the brooms so a witch can't steal one - you know, Christmas witches.


SAGAL: Tara, in the month of December, South African children are told the charming story of whom? Is it, A, Kitty, king of the mews (ph), the legendary cat of Jesus never mentioned in the Bible...


SAGAL: ...Or B, Danny, the ghost of a boy whose grandma killed him for eating too many cookies?

CLANCY: Oh, my God.


CLANCY: I don't want to pick B. I'm not picking B. I don't care. A.

SAGAL: No, it was, in fact, Danny.



CLANCY: Wrong.

SAGAL: Thanks, Grandma. Tom, in Spain, families celebrate the season with what festive household feature? Is it, A, sensual Santa, a wax figurine of a sexy Santa that is said to bring fertility, or B, pooping log, a hollow log with a face you feed nuts, onions and fruits until it falls out a hole in the bottom?


BODETT: I hope it is sexy Santa.

SAGAL: No, it was the pooping log.

BODETT: Oh, no.


SAGAL: This is a Spanish thing. And not only do people have pooping logs, but there is a song to celebrate the pooping log. And translated, it goes like this - poop log, poop log, hazelnuts and cottage cheese. If you don't poop well, I'll hit you with a stick - poop log.


BODETT: And that will kill Danny.

CLANCY: Yeah (laughter).

BODETT: My wife was born in Madrid. I need to ask her about this.


BODDEN: Maybe you don't want to ask her...

SAGAL: I know, I know. Yeah.


CAT STEVENS: (Singing) Oh, I can't keep it in. I can't keep it in. I've got to let it out. I've got to show the world, world's got to see... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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