For most children and adults, Christmas is a time of joy and long-awaited gifts. However, in Europe there are certain traditions that hint at the darker past of the holiday. The time of Christmas among Europeans has traditionally been associated with gloomy folk creatures. We present to you top-7 mysterious and gloomy stories related to the Christmas .
7. Christmas and werewolves
7. Christmas and werewolves
According to the beliefs of Central and Southern Europechildren born at Christmas can become werewolves. Why? Because they were born on the same day as Jesus Christ, and this was regarded as blasphemy against the Son of God. In his famous novel The Werewolf in Paris, Guy Endor recalled this legend. The hero of his book was born just on Christmas Day.
Also known as Hall and Hall, Holda is a German goddess, which can be found in the folklore of Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Alpine regions of Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol. According to the legend, Holda spends the night between Christmas and the Epiphany traveling on a wagon or riding a horse as a member of the Wild Hunt. It is believed that she leads the souls of unbaptized infants and those who are not yet ready to go to heaven, that is, pagans and witches."Going with Hall" means walking with a witch.
Thanks to the Internet, comic books and horror films, there was a flash of interest in this demonic assistant of St. Nicholas.
In East Tyrol and the German-speaking areas of South Tyrol, Krampus is an ugly and hairy creature that children can evoke on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. After awakening, Krampus follows St. Nicholas, but if the latter bestows good children, then Krampus punishes the bad. He either puts a coal under his pillow, or puts them in a sack and carries them to a cave. It is believed that the kidnapped child Krampus uses as a main dish at his Christmas dinner. Do not be fooled!
4. Frau Perchta
Another pagan German goddess, included in our rating of amazing Christmas stories. Her day was the Twelfth Night( January 6).Frau Perkhty's favorite dishes are fish and cereals. For those who eat anything else on her holiday, the capricious goddess could fill her stomach with straw.
To appease Percht it was recommended to leave her milk or porridge. Perhaps this has a connection with the tradition of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus.
3. Yale cat
The fourth place of our strashdestvennogo hit parade is a creature that children in Iceland are afraid of. The Yolsky cat wanders around during the Yule( Christmas season) and punishes those who have not purchased new woolen clothes for Christmas. It is described as a giant black fluffy beast, which reminds the Icelanders of the need to work hard throughout the coming year. After all, who works, he can afford a new thing. And who does not work, that Yolsky cat will eat. He especially likes to eat lazy and disobedient children. There is a more humane version of the story, according to it, the Yolsky beast does not eat children, but a festive treat. But the cat gives gifts to good children.
2. Saint Thomas
Rightfully takes second place in the list of the most terrible legends associated with Christmas, the Austrian story of St. Thomas. It does not matter whether you have been behaving well the whole year or been an outlandish villain, Thomas punishes everyone. This man with a long beard, divided into two halves, came on December 21 with the onset of darkness. If the door to the house was open, Thomas entered the dwelling, silently looked at its inhabitants and pointed to one of them. The name of the poor fellow was now written in the Book of Death and until the next New Year he was not destined to live. However, Thomas could be appeased by offering him a special biscuit. And that he did not go into the house outside the door, it was necessary to put crossed forks or brooms. But the doors of the barns from St. Thomas were not locked, so that there was a good harvest, because to the vegetation he was kinder than to the people.
1. La Befana
A Christmas witch with a hooked nose, dressed in a holey stockings, a long cloak and a pointed hat. She flies on a broomstick on January 6th( the Day of the Epiphany Epiphany), La Befana gives gifts to well-mannered boys and girls.
Instead of a present for "bad guys" La Befana throws a coal into the chimney or stuffs a stocking suspended on a tree. Italian parents warn their scoundrels and mischiefs that if they behave badly, La Befana will take them with them.
In many respects La Befana plays the same role as Saint Nicholas and Krampus "in one bottle".
There is a legend that La Befana is associated with three magi. She gave the sages shelter and food, but refused to go to look at the baby Christ, because she has too much work around the house. Then La Befana changed her mind, but could not find Jesus or the Magi. Now it is flying around the world in their search.