Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas traditions in other places


In America, children are told that if they aren't good, that Santa Claus will leave coal in their stocking.  In Alpine countries a misbehaving tot is taken by the Krampas, a horned troll like being.

Of course the mother will save her little boy, but you can bet that he was a very well behaved child after this encounter.



In the Netherlands, children are treated to a minstrel show, of sorts. St. Nicholas,  former Bishop of Turkey, arrives by ship before Christmas, and brings with him six to eight "black" men, all named Zwarte Piet.
And if the child is not good, St. Nicholas and Zwarte Piet will pretend to kick them.  If they haven't gotten with the program on good behavior, the children could be stuffed into a bag and taken to Spain, where the former Bishop of Turkey has retired to.  (Special thanks to David Sedaris for his explanation of this particularly strange tradition.)

8 comments:

  1. There are so many fascinating tales associated with this utterly non-Christian time of year - you may be interested in my blogs on the subject here and here. Jx

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  2. What do I need to do to be whisked off to Spain with six to eight (always six to eight) black peters?

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    Replies
    1. You need to be bad, and fit in their sack.

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    2. Is there room in that sack for me?

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  3. The Krampas remind me of the living trees from Puffinstuff's island.

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    Replies
    1. Think of them living under a bridge and demanding a fee from Billy Goats.

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  4. The "hollawetz" will beat the shit out of, if you are bad. With chains and all.

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