Three Kings

Epiphany, which traditionally marks the occasion of the "manifestation to the Gentiles", represented by the Magi presenting their gifts to Christ, is commemorated in some odd ways around the world. PICTURE: Ben White/Unsplash

Celebrations marking the Feast of the Epiphany (also known as Three Kings Day) recently made some rather odd headlines around the world. First there was the remote Portuguese village of Vale de Salgueiro where traditional celebrations include parents handing out cigarettes to children as young as five in a practice which locals say has been handed down for centuries. In Mexico, meanwhile, more than 2,100 bakers joined in creating a "Rosca de Reyes", an enormous, 1.4 kilometre long "King's Bread", in the capital's main square of Zocalo. Thousands joined in eating the nine tonne treat.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha adopted a rather unusual approach when faced with the potential for some tough questions from journalists. Having spoken briefly to the media after attending an event promoting the country's upcoming Children's Day, before any questions could be asked, he reportedly brought out a life-sized cardboard cut-out of himself and told reporters to "Ask this guy" if they had any questions on politics or conflict. It's not the first time he's acted in an odd way with journalists - he's previously thrown a banana peel at a reporter.

It's the big freeze in the US and one New York man has decided to capitalise on it by offering a balcony 'snow fort' for rent on Airbnb. The work of ABC newsman, Michael Koenigs, the accommodation, described as the "highest snowfort in the world", is only available for a limited time (ie. until it melts). The listing on Airbnb reads in part: "This comfy snowfort is built to impress with its very own tunnel entrance, breakfast chair, and couch for sleeping (bring your own blankets--BYOB). It has sweeping city views and no roof to allow maximum sunlight exposure to help warm you up during the day. The 5 foot-tall snow wall offers some privacy from the prying eyes of nosey New Yorkers." Just make sure those blankets are thick.