October is nearly here and whilst everyone is super excited for Halloween, we still like to add a Christmas twist at WeRChristmas HQ!
In many countries Santa type figures aren’t always the jolly old man we have grown with and love.
Krampus (Knecht Reprecht) – Germany/Austria
Krampus is definitely one of the most terrifying Christmas characters, he goes to the homes of children who have behaved badly. Krampus has long been seen by the German and Austrian as a companion of Santa as he is the one who punishes the Children which Santa distances himself from.
Legend tells us that Krampus doesn’t just leave a lump of coal he instead he flogs children and even sometimes kidnaps them to live with him in hell for a year. The legend of Krampus is used to scare children into behaving throughout the year, otherwise the half demon, half goat creature will use his cloven hooves, thrashing chains and huge horns!
Jolakotturinn (Yule Cat) – Iceland
Jolakotturinn known as the yule cat is a gigantic monster which a passion for all things fashion. Yule Cat prowls the Icelandic countryside taking pray on that don’t have new clothing to wear by Christmas Eve. The story of Jolakotturinn varies, some say he just eats your food, but the majority say he will devour you without a second thought.
People say the legend was created by farmers to get their workers to finish the autumn wool process before Christmas came. Hard working labourers would get new clothes whilst the slackers got nothing and were left to worry about being eaten by Jolakotturin.
Jolasveinar (Yule Lads) – Iceland
Another strange Icelandic festive folklore icon is the Yule Lads. The Jolasveinar, 13 Yule lads leave a surprise for children when they wake in a morning. They arrive one by one in the 13 days leading up to Christmas Day. When each one arrives, he gets the shoes of the well-behaved children and fills them with sweets, for the naughty ones he fills them with rotting potatoes.
Yule Lads don’t just leave rotting vegetables, they’re known to be mischievous creatures. Guilty Gawk, steals milk and then there’s Door Slammer who stays true to his name, these Yule Lads like to cause a bit of trouble whilst living in your house.
Joulupukki (Yule Goat) – Finland, Sweden & Norway
In Scandinavian countries, the Yule Goat represents everything about festive traditions, it’s unclear how the Yule Goat became the symbol that it is. Some people point to Thor and Norse mythology, who travelling by goat-drawn chariot, whereas some claim a connection with Santa.
Despite the reason, the Yule Goat has accepted as Scandinavian Figure of the festive period. In Sweden it’s a popular tradition to create gigantic Joulupukki made from straw. People also believe the goat is an invisible spirit that keeps an eye on Yuletide preparations.
Pere Fouettard – France
In France Pere is known to join Santa on Christmas eve delivering gifts, the difference is that instead of bringing them joy and happiness Pere Fouettard gives lumps of coal and flogging to Children that have misbehaved.
Pere Fouettard is recognised by his long beard, whip and dark robe. He sometimes is armed with a huge stick or anything he can use to punish naughty Children, Fouettards name translates to Father Whipper.
Comment below with any spooky Santa tales you know!