Christmas, celebrated around the world, has some traditions that are pretty universal. Decorations, a tree, gifts, and gathering with family and friends, those you will most likely see everywhere. Each State in the United States has its own traditions, which can be unusual, and unless you are a native, you don't quite get it.

For Iowa:

The Holly & Ivy is a holiday decorating tradition at the Salisbury House in Des Moines, Iowa. Community groups and organizations each adopt a room of the spacious mansion to decorate with trees, ribbons, baubles, and more.

The Salisbury House then hosts tours a few days before Christmas to show off the volunteers' decorating skills.

In Wisconsin:

During weekends in December, Cave of the Mounds in Wisconsin offers Sing-A-Long Caroling Tours. The cave's acoustics will make your favorite holiday songs sound otherworldly.

North Dakota:

Garrison is known as the Christmas Capitol of North Dakota, and for good reason, as the entire town transforms into a Victorian-era village for the holiday season. There's a fruit cake toss, English high tea, top hat decorating, live performances of Dickens' works, horse-drawn carriages, and a whole lot more old-school festivities.

And South Dakota:

The entire town of Deadwood  is a National Landmark, and has been since 1961. It's a true time capsule into the days of cowboys and the Gold Rush, and goes all out for Christmas with lights, decorations, and a Christmas Spectacular show.

Now, after hearing about decorating, National Landmarks, and even singing in a cave, what is Minnesota's claim to fame? Lutefisk. Yes, the dried fish that is soaked in water and treated with lye. Well, we do have a very strong Nordic heritage in our state, but, still, fish that has the consistency of jello? That's the most unusual? I can't even imagine what an outsider thinks of that tradition...... I just know my family will not be partaking in that custom.


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