Christmas in its current traditions with Christmas trees and chubby red Santa Claus is fairly new, and was preceded by much more bizarre practices, some of them exist today around the world – so if you are all about bizarre traditions, this list is for you :
Krampus, A demon that frightens children unless they behave –
Think about the most horrible monster you can imagine, a kind of combination of a goat with a demon, and now tell about him to your children during Christmas. During Christmas in Austria that’s totally normal. Krampus is a kind of anti-Santa Claus, a terrible beast with horns, dark hair, sharp fangs and a necklace with bells. Additionally, he is walking around with a set of clubs purposed to beat naughty children.
The baddest ones he is dragging with him back to hell. This creature created in German folklore,in order to make children afraid, if Santa Claus showering sweets on children who behaved well this year, but will not do anything to the ones that did bad, Krampus is the one who came to teach a lesson to the naughty kids.
Germany and the United States:
Look for the pickle –
Originally people used a real pickle, but because of the fear of losing it and rottenness, it has changed to a decoration in the form of pickle that is hidden a Christmas tree. The finder receiving either a reward or good fortune for the following year. No one is certain what the is the source of this tradition,there is a speculation that just as Santa Claus – a marketing move designed to boost sales of pickles.
Kallikantzaros, Goblins with a weird name –
A race of goblins (demons) who lived underground where they try every year to collapse the “World Tree” in order to destroy the whole world with him. According to legend, on Christmas morning, just before they finish to cut down the tree, they can go up the surface and do damage to humans.
For 12 days they can roam on earth, but on Friday in January they have to go underground and begin again the work of cutting of the tree. Only problem is that during their absence, the has been completely healed.
Poopy Christmas –
Caganer is a character who depicted always when he takes off his pants and defecates. Caganer (“shitting” is a Catalan) tradition originates from the 18th century at least, and is used as a very legitimate decoration in Catalonia and throughout Spain.
As part of the “Nativity”, in Spain they tend to recover all of Bethlehem, and not just the tent where the baby Jesus was born. Here one can find a washerwoman, a shepherd, and of course the figure of the shitting man that became a phenomenally popular.
Let’s celebrate with spiders –
“The legend of the Christmas Spider” is an Eastern European tale of made to explain why we decorate the Christmas tree. A poor widow living in the hut with her children, one day an acorn fell on the floor of the cabin and took root. The children were happy that finally they will have a Christmas tree in the up coming winter and took a very good care of tree. But when Christmas arrived they became sad because they had no money to decorate it properly. They went to sleep, and woke up and found that all the tree covered with spiderwebs. When they opened the cabin windows and sunlight hit the webs, they turned into gold and silver, and they lived happily ever after. And that is why Ukrainians decorate the tree webs and spider toy.
Bafena the Witch –
Imagine that instead of Santa Claus, a witch on a broom arrived in a delay of 11 days. That’s how children celebrate Christmas in Italy, on January 5 comes Bafena the witch on a broom, She puts candy into the socks of good children as gifts, and coal or wood sticks into bad boys socks as punishment. For exceptional good children she even cleans the floor, as she sweeping all the troubles of the past year. Overall a lovely woman.
Christmas cat that will probably kill you –
In Iceland there is a particularly cruel folklore telling about the Yule Cat. It’s a huge cat like monster that is lurking at the vast plains of snow during Christmas and crushing and devouring those who have not received new clothes as a holiday present. The legend was created essentially to expedite the processing of wool shorn from the fall until Christmas Eve. Those who complete the task will receive new clothes, and those who did not, the giant cat come to devour them.