Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More tales of ritual holiday child abuse

...and then I promise, I'm going to be done.

But when I opened the Columbus Dispatch here at my parents' this morning, there was yet another story about an odd Christmas tradition of terror and mayhem, this time from Iceland, where a mountain hag named Gryla, her husband Leppalud, and their thirteen nasty sons, the "Yule Lads," threaten to carry bad children off and eat them.

The article includes examples of similar traditions from Italy and Austria. After reading this piece, I have to revise my original assumption that the figure who beat my friend's father in Vienna was the Belsnickle...sounds more like he was attacked by Krampus. (These distinctions are so important! ;^)

If you click to read the article, please do ignore the Cox News Service journalist's conclusion that all of these things are "Christmas mythologies borrowed from pagan folklore." As Erica neatly pointed out in a comment to the last post, the only valid Grand Unifying Theory is the one that reminds us that "it's all in your head"!


Michael said...

Krampus is the best name EVER! If he ran for president, I'd vote for him just so we would have a President Krampus.

Rose said...

Given that the article describes Krampus as a "7-foot horned devil [who] roams about in chains... wielding a stick," I suspect he might run unopposed!

Erica said...

Haha, silly Europeans, with their mythologies to scare children, SOOO unlike wholesome American fantasies! (sigh...)

I would totally vote for President Krampus, too.