The Yule Goat
The Yule Goat is an interesting individual, his history goes back to pre-Christian Scandinavia. In Finland his name is Joulupukki and basically he was 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These days in most regions he’s been replaced by Saint Nicholas but many people still incorporate him into Santa’s entourage, and the modern version of the Yule goat is a decorative ornament made out of straw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.
There is even a Christmas song about the goat:
For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:
Posted in Art, Christmas and tagged Art, Christmas, Folklore, Funny, holidays, Joulu, Joulupukki, Ornaments, Pyhä Nikolaus, Strange, the refreshments billy goat, traditions, Yule goat by maroonbeard with no comments yet.
Christmas Folklore, Legends and Traditions! More Christmas for Everyone! And The True Meaning of XMAS
More Christmas for Everyone!
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 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, aren’t you supposed to be thinking about Jesus all the time? Why get so bent 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! 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 heathens call the day I celebrate my savior’s birth holy! Oh, and on the flip-side, 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 and 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 child’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 essentially the same thing.
For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:
Posted in Art, Christmas and tagged Art, Christmas, Drawings, Funny, holidays, Humor, Obama, Picklas, santa, st. nick, traditions, x-mas by maroonbeard with 3 comments.
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.
We already covered Black Peter but there are other guys that like to hang around with Santa to psychologically torment and abuse naughty children…
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…
Also, The Simpson’s dog is named Knecht Ruprecht in Germany rather than Santa’s little helper.
Posted in Art, Christmas and tagged Art, Christmas, Drawings, Folklore, Funny, Humor, Knecht Ruprecht, Krampus, krampuskarten, krampusnacht, legends, traditions by maroonbeard with no comments yet.