We rarely learn much about the laws of the countries we visit as tourists, yet sometimes having knowledge of this kind may prevent unpleasant eventualities. In addition, some of these laws are so unusual we struggle to actually believe them.
We at votreART found 10 of the most extraordinary things people in various countries aren’t allowed to do according to the law.
It’s prohibited to eat biscuits on Christmas Day
The United Kingdom
In 1644, Oliver Cromwell prohibited celebrating Christmas because he considered it immoral. Many attributes of the holiday were officially banned, including sweet buns and biscuits, but only on Christmas Day.
It’s curious that there hasn’t been a decree to abolish Cromwell’s law, so every Englishman technically commits a crime when eating a biscuit on Christmas Day — it’s just that nobody cares.
You can’t touch whales
The United Kingdom
Here’s another strange UK law: all whales, dolphins, and other sea mammals within a 3-mile radius of the UK are considered the property of the Queen, so you’re prohibited from touching them. Please try not to.
You can’t rescue the drowning
The mysterious mentality of the East couldn’t have left the laws of China untouched. One of them says that rescuing drowning people is illegal.
This law is connected with the Eastern philosophy stating that tampering with a person’s fate is immoral. However, skeptics think the Chinese authorities just try to control the population with this regulation.
It’s illegal to kiss at train stations
This law is effective both in France and some stations in the UK: lovers are prohibited from kissing at railway stations.
It first appeared in France in 1910, when trains were often delayed by couples who didn’t want to part. As a result, the authorities banned kissing at platforms but still made special “kissing zones” where lovers may take a moment of tenderness.
It’s against the law to feed the pigeons
While it’s perfectly fine to feed a pigeon with a piece of bread, in Venice it’s an illegal actpunishable by a fine. This law was enacted to prevent the birds from soiling the beautiful statues and architectural monuments.
Banned Kinder Surprise
The famous chocolate eggs had been prohibited all around the US since the very day of their appearance. The reason for this was that, according to US laws, it is prohibited to put toys into food for fear of children choking on the small parts.
In 2013, the States finally saw the Kinders on the shelves of their stores. The authorities allowed the eggs to be sold on condition there would be large toys inside made of a single part.
You can’t pay only with change
In Canada, you can’t just crack your old coin bank and buy something with its contents. A law that came into effect in 1985 prohibits paying with coins only if the price of the purchase is over 10 Canadian dollars.
It’s illegal to forget about your wife’s birthday
Samoa is an independent state in the Pacific Isles that’s famous for its unusual laws. One of them states a husband shall not forget about his wife’s birthday. If that still happens, the court will make the man pay a fine that goes straight into his wife’s hands.
Don’t show your tattoos
Most Japanese people don’t have tattoos, and even today, they continue to be stigmatizedin mainstream society due to their association with criminal groups, such as the Yakuza. There is no law prohibiting tattoos, but several hotels, gym, public baths or onsen (hot spring) maynot admit customers who have visible tattoos.
You shall not step on money
And finally, a law that all travelers to Thailand should know. Watch your step while in this exotic country because it’s illegal to step on either coins or bills with portraits of venerable Thai citizens engraved on them.