Saturday, 25 December 2010

Weird and Wonderful Christmas Characters

What things do you associate with 'Christmas'? Santa? Snowmen? Christmas Trees? Presents? Or perhaps for the more holy among us you place an affinity with the birth of baby Jebus or the Three Wise Men?

Well, let me introduce to you something, or rather 'someone' new to add to your Christmas preconceptions. Someone far more sinister and who is about to change everything you associate with Christmas forever.


This charming fellow is Germanic in origin. Of course he is. What other group of people in the world could come up with such a maligning presence to ingratiate itself on a supposedly pure and happy day of festivities? Krampus here accompanies jolly old St. Nick during the Christmas season, dragging his jingling chains behind him and punishing naughty children. Allegedly, this demon also has a penchant for birching pretty young virgins. See the artist representation below as that pervert Santa Clause peeps through the window.
Dirty Voyeur
Thought you'd get away with a lump of coal did you? Think again.

The second chap I'd like to introduce you to is Zwarte Piet, or 'Black Pete' in English. This product of Dutch and Belgian folklore is not an evil demon like our dear friend Krampus here. Instead, his primary function is to accompany Santa around the 5th or 6th of December and amuse the children, distributing sweets and presents to those that have been nice. It is said that St. Nicholas, having thrown off the shackles of his evil past (no shit, he worked with the Devil prior to his change of heart), decided to enslave a little demon of his own as an assistant.

Santa and his Golliwog
Anyway, just thought I'd share some of this fascinating strangeness. Only in Europe, eh? Merry Christmas and sweet dreams!