Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions! The Yule Goat

The Yule Goat


YULEGOAT

The Yule Goat is an interesting individual, his history goes back to pre-Christian Scandinavia. In Finland his name is Joulupukki and in a nutshell he was basically a goat version of Santa Claus. He rides around in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, wears red clothes and hands out Christmas gifts. In some traditions he’s just a spirit that appears to ensure that Christmas preparations are in order.

 

These days in most regions he’s been replaced by Saint Nicholas but many people still incorporate him into Santa’s entourage, and the modern version of the Yule goat is a decorative ornament made out of straw and bound with red ribbons and it is placed below the Christmas Tree.

 

One notable straw goat is The Gävle goat, which is a gigantic straw Yule goat in Gavle Sweden. It has the distinction of being the largest Yule Goat, and it  has become an unfortunate tradition for vandals to torch the goat every year or so, some goats don’t even last longer than six days before being destroyed. Burning the goat is an illegal act and it is not officially welcomed by the people of Gävle but it does draw tourists into town.

 

Yule be sorry!

Yule be sorry!

 

There is even a Christmas song about the goat:

 

For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Sinterklass

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions X-Mas Origins

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

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Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions! El Caganer, the pooping nativity figure.

 

Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions, 

EL CAGANER!

 

I am going to kick off this series of posts with something off-color and mildly offensive to grab your attention and appeal to your lower self in order to get you hooked, so,  El Caganer!

 

Joy to The World!

Joy to The World!

 

I lived in Spain for a time and I really loved many of their unique Christmas traditions; Three Kings Day, Turron,  their elaborate Nativity scenes, and the guy taking a dump in the Nativity scene… Yes, there is a little guy called El Caganer (The Shitter) incorporated into all Nativity scenes, and sometimes if you’re lucky there’s a guy peeing as well but he’s not our focus.

 

 The origins of the Caganer are lost but there are many different ideas about why he exists. All we really know is that he began showing up in Nativity scenes sometime in the 17oos. Some say he’s just there to entertain kids and perverts, others say he’s representative of everyone’s equality before God (because we all poop). But the most interesting explanation I’ve heard delves into some pretty strange old catholic superstition. The basic idea is that when you take communion and swallow that wafer, it goes through you body cleansing you of sin and once it has done it’s job you poop out pure sin! In addition to that, the reason that digestive fiber cookies are called Maria Cookies and are so popular in Europe is because Maria (Mary, Jesus’ Mother) works as an intercessory between you and Jesus just as the fiber cookie works as an intercessory in the sin digestion process...

 

Whatever the reason for having a man crapping in a Nativity scene celebrating the birth of Christ, the tradition is strong and pretty far-reaching. All over Spain, France and Italy you can find these guys. They have celebrity versions from Barack Obama to Charlie Brown, some are small and some are huge, but they all remind us what the true meaning of Christmas is…  somehow.

Caganers

 

For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions The Yule Goat

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions X-Mas Origins

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

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Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht


Krampus!

 

I've got Krampus

I’ve got Krampus

Your own printable Krampus card!!!

 

Just as Santa differs in different regions so do his sidekicks. Krampus is basically a possessed, Satanic version of Black Peter and Rupert the Farm-hand. Krampus started as pre-Christian German figure and his legend spread to other alpine countries. Eventually he morphed into the guys we talked about before (Black Peter, Knecht Ruprecht) in some regions as he became incorporated into Christmas folklore. But he is still very much a part of the Christmas tradition in many places.

 

There are many variations of Krampus, but his basic form is that of a devilish, goat-like, beast. Long horns, cloven feet and covered with fur of varying colors.

 

Krampus is notoriously drunk and is said to reek of Schnapps and he likes to carry around a bundle of sticks to whip children with, and a tub or sack on his back so that he can more easily haul children off to be drowned, eaten or dragged to hell… I’m Not sure why this tradition never caught on in America.

 

Another Krampus-related tradition is to send out Krampus cards around the holidays. These cards usually depict Krampus shoving kids into baskets, pursuing large-breasted women or other strange sexual situations. Krampus is a real creep.

 

 

 

Merry Krampusnacht little Hans!

Merry Krampusnacht little Hans!

We already covered Black Peter but there are other guys that like to hang around with Santa to psychologically torment  and abuse naughty children…

 

Knecht Ruprecht

 

 

Knecht Ruprecht

 

 

 Ruprecht is another traditional German character. Roughly translated as Rupert the farm-hand. Rupert is basically Bizarro Santa; similar clothes but brown instead of red, long beard but it’s black instead of white, and he carries around a bag of ashes rather than toys. He gives some kids treats if they can prove to him that they are able to pray. But, if the kids are little heathens he beats them with his bag of ashes. He give bad kids crappy, useless gifts like coal, sticks and stones. So basically Santa has Rupert do all of his dirty work so he can bask in the glory of being the good guy. Apparently, Rupert can’t get a US Visa because Santa has to show his true colors and give out all the coal himself around these parts, and he seems to be pretty lax, that’s probably why kids are such spoiled brats here. We need more kids to be beaten with a bag of ashes…

 

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Also, The Simpson’s dog is named Knecht Ruprecht in Germany rather than Santa’s little helper.

 

For more highly informative Christmas folklore follow the links!!!

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions The Yule Goat

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Sinterklass

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions X-Mas Origins

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

 

 

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A Son Is Given!

Merry Christmas! In an attempt to draw something that doesn’t look like it’s rotting I scratched out this picture with a pencil. Probably not my finest work but I usually don’t dabble much in “serious” art…

 

 

 

 

A Son is Given

 

For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions The Yule Goat

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Sinterklass

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions X-Mas Origins

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

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‘Tis The Season To Be…

Merry!

 

For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions The Yule Goat

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Sinterklass

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions X-Mas Origins

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

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Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions! DAY 3, Sinterklass

Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions!

 

SINTERKLASS

 

 

Easy to draw, grumpy Santa with a squid-pope hat.

Easy to draw, grumpy Santa with a squid-pope hat.

 

Like all the different varieties out there, the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas has many similarities to the fat man in red we call Santa.

 

Sinterklass makes his rounds in the beginning of December (around the 5th). He traditionally arrives by boat surrounded by his little racially insensitive black slaves called Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes). Apparently they ride around the village with a fleet of white horses, it’s not clear if the horses ride in on the boat with him or if each harbor has a new set for him when he arrives.

 

  Sinter finds out who has been bad or good by sending his little henchmen chimney to chimney, where they listen and gather intel. He then goes around town giving chocolate to all the good kids.

 

 The origination of Black Peter is somewhat cloudy. Early on, it has been said that Sinterklass was accompanied by a subservient, dark demon bound with chains, helping him do his dirty work of giving kids chocolate. Some early legends say that Black Pete was a Black Moor rather than a demon. So, basically Robin Hood Princes of Thieves stole the idea for Morgan Freeman’s character Azeem from Sinterklass. It would have made the movie more interesting if they would have given Azeem the same appearance as Black Pete; a white guy in black face with red lipstick wearing a renaissance style page uniform…

 

Geesh...

Geesh…

 

For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions The Yule Goat

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions X-Mas Origins

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

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Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions! More Christmas for Everyone! And The True Meaning of XMAS

More Christmas for Everyone!

 

Satan Claus putting the X back in X-mas

Satan Claus putting the X back in X-mas

Christmas is a holiday neck deep in cultural tradition and nearly untraceable folklore. I am Christian and I will admit that the holiday is only partially based in Christianity. Most of Christmas is all about cultural and familial tradition. The holiday is an amalgam of pagan and Roman practices with a few sprinkles of Christianity. Jesus probably wasn’t even born anytime near December…   “Put Christ back in Christmas!” some may exclaim, but I maintain that for those who want him in Christmas he’s where he’s always been. If you are a Christian then aren’t you supposed to be thinking about Jesus all the time? Why bend yourself so far out of shape for Christmas? Christmas is a cultural phenomenon and should be recognized as such. Along with the baby Jesus, we have Santa Claus, reindeer, presents, Christmas Music, wassail, snowballs, and all sorts of other tinsel covered crap!

 

 Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and Jews come celebrate this joyful, historically rich, seasonal tradition with us! Please, call it Christmas because that’s what it’s called… What? You’re not Christian you say? Well I’m not Catholic, I don’t celebrate mass but I still call it ChristMAS! Also, people who get angry about the phrase “Happy Holidays” have misplaced rage, what does Holiday mean? HOLY DAY! How dare those accursed atheists call the day I celebrate my savior’s birth holy! Oh, and on the flipside you crazy Christians who think that Santa is evil, your kids aren’t going to burn in hell if you let them believe in Santa Claus, they’re going to die of boredom because you are boring and dumb!!! Santa is a cultural icon, if you’re worried he’ll take away the Jesus part of Christmas you’re obviously not very confident in your own beliefs and in your children’s ability to use reason. …Okay, I’m going to calm down.

 

Any well-adjusted member of our society should have no qualms about the spirit of this celebration. Peace, kindness, love, family, sharing our fortune with those who are less fortunate. Why would anyone have a problem with these ideas? Has Christmas become mega-commercialized? Yes. Are Christmas Trees and lights melting the O-Zone Layer? I hope so. Are too many of our kids spoiled brats? Yes. But commercialization is a byproduct of people yearning for something; I guess it has just become misdirected. We are all so eager to slough off the rest of the mundane year and embrace something special, and we get carried away.

 

Don’t worry about “The War against Christmas”, if you love Christmas then go out and give Christmas a good name. Help others, show love, don’t get hung up on the little faults and unpleasant aspects of the season. Unscroo the scrooges and have a great holiday season!

 

 Also, fun fact: Xmas is not anti-Christian, The “X” is actually indicating the Greek letter “Chi”, which is short for the Greek, meaning “Christ”. So “Xmas” and “Christmas” are equal in every way except their lettering.

For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions El Caganer

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Krampus and Knecht Ruprecht

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions The Yule Goat

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions St. Picklas

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions Desktop Wallpaper

Christmas Folklore Legends and Traditions A Son is Given

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A Saint is a Sinner who keeps Trying

Not my typical art, just felt it was a good message to share, I hope the picture conveys the idea appropriately.

 

 

Matthew 26:75 "And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly"

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The Pied Piper

Ian Anderson gets the Rat Fink Treatment

Ian Anderson gets the Rat Fink Treatment

 

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson gets the Rat Fink treatment. I’ve been “Rat Finking” a bit lately, I can’t think of a more entertaining way to draw, uninhibited hideousness, the uglier the better! I’ve done tributes to Ian Anderson in the past but I thought that a picture ala Ed Big Daddy Roth would be very appropriate. Not many a musician performs with such audacity and vigor as Ian Anderson. So what better way to “hyperbolize” his bug-eyed expression and wild disposition? You can almost hear the grunts and moans just by looking at the picture!

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Mad Mickey Rat Fink

Fun for all ages!

Fun for all ages!

 

For more like this!

‘Tis The Season To Be…

Happy Halloween

Another take on an old classic

Jeep Creep, Rat Fink Wannabe

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