World's Wackiest Holidays

Think relying on a groundhog's shadow to predict the end of winter makes little sense? Check out even stranger celebrations from around the world.

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Giant balloon puppets like Spiderman debuted at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade back in 1927. Today, the annual event is one of the oldest Thanksgiving Day parades in the U.S. 960 1280

Michael Nagle/Getty Images  

Here Comes Santa!

Here Comes Santa!

Santa Claus rides on his sleigh down Central Park West during the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in N.Y.C. St. Nick’s arrival at the parade's grand finale signals the official season's start to Christmas in N.Y.C. 960 1280

Reuters/Gary Hershorn   

Houston's H-E-B Holiday Parade

Houston's H-E-B Holiday Parade

Participants strike a pose in Houston's annual Thanksgiving celebration, which we’ve voted among the top Thanksgiving Day parades. The parade got a makeover in 2013, with renewed focus on everything from fashion, food and heroes; to culture, sports and talent. 960 1280

Sean Boyd/Houston Holiday Parade  

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

Make it a long weekend in Chicago, while checking out "Chicago's Grand Holiday Tradition." You just may see Teddy Turkey strut his stuff; he's been the parade mascot since 2009. 960 1280

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, flickr  

America's Thanksgiving Parade

America's Thanksgiving Parade

Giant balloons float above the street during Detroit's annual America's Thanksgiving Parade, which shares the title of second-oldest Thanksgiving parade (alongside the Macy's parade). Plus, check out our own Andrew Zimmern's Detroit-inspired pumpkin pie.
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Paul Warner, Getty Images  

Carolinas' Carrousel Parade

Carolinas' Carrousel Parade

Yep, that is "Carrousel" with two r's. Founded in 1947, this parade through Charlotte, N.C., is the fourth-largest in America, with an estimated 100,000 spectators. 960 1280

Charlotte Fire Deparment, flickr   

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

So what is the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving parade? Head to Philadelphia to find out! The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1920, sponsored by a popular department store of the day. 960 1280

Gilbert Carrasquillo, Getty Images  

America's Hometown Parade

America's Hometown Parade

Upping the ante, America’s Hometown Parade, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, bills itself as “America’s only historically accurate, chronological parade.” Inspired by the Pilgrims’ establishment of Plymouth Colony, the parade foregoes giant balloons of popular characters for parade features based on the history of the U.S., from the 1600s up to the present, with a Santa Claus float at the end. 960 1280

Michael Springer, Getty Images  

Hanukkah in Jerusalem’s Old City
Jerusalem’s Old City

Jerusalem’s Old City

A Hanukkah menorah (also known as a “chanukiah”) glows in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City. The eight-day festival commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the 2nd century B.C. 960 1280

Reuters/Ronen Zvulun  

Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India

The father of a slain rabbi's wife lights a menorah in front of the landmark Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, a month after militants attacked several sites in the city, including a Jewish cultural center, back in 2008. Mumbai is currently home to eight synagogues. Plans are underway to rebuild the Jewish center.
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Pal Pillai/ AFP/ Getty Images  

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

A menorah stands on the White House Ellipse during the annual national Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C. In 1979, Jimmy Carter became the first U.S. president to participate in a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on the National Mall. Later, President Bill Clinton led the first ceremony of its kind inside the White House.  960 1280

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images  

N.Y.C.

N.Y.C.

Head to NYC to see the world’s largest Hanukkah menorah -- 32 feet high and weighing 4,000 pounds. The nine-branched, gold-colored steel candelabrum stands on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, across from Central Park, during the holiday, and was designed by contemporary Israeli artist Yaacov Agam. 960 1280

Chris Hondros/Getty Images  

Berlin

Berlin

Rabbis Shmuel Segal and Yehuda Teichtal of the Jewish Orthodox group Chabad help erect a menorah in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Dec. 7, 2012, ahead of Hanukkah celebrations. These days, Berlin is seeing a resurgence of Jewish life, including an estimated 20,000 Israelis. 960 1280

Reuters/Thomas Peter   

Paris

Paris

With the Eiffel Tower in the background, the chief rabbi of France (right) and the Israeli ambassador to France (center), prepare to light a menorah on Dec. 20, 2011, at the Champs de Mars in Paris. Today, France is home to nearly 500,000 Jews. 960 1280

Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images   

London’s Trafalgar Square

London’s Trafalgar Square

London’s Trafalgar Square glows from the light of a giant menorah, as a crowd watches the festivities unfold. The lighting ceremony is an annual event in this central London space, in a city that’s home to roughly 250,000 Jews. 960 1280

Reuters/Luke MacGregor   

South Beach Miami

South Beach Miami

A menorah made out of... seashells? Yep, that’s right. This towering creation -- made of more than 10,000 seashells, each personally collected by the artist himself -- was the handiwork of jazz musician Roger Abramson. 960 1280

Wally Gobetz, flickr  

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