HERE ARE EUROPE’S MOST TERRIFYING CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
HERE ARE EUROPE’S MOST TERRIFYING CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS by Joshua Gill – The Daily Caller
TDC Note – A look at the darker side of the holiday season and how others view this time of year. Call them what you will, I wouldn’t call these ChristMas traditions since they have nothing to do with Jesus Christ.
- While Santa Claus is a universally known Christmas figure, other more fiendish characters feature in Christmas traditions throughout Europe.
- These terrifying characters are largely holdovers from pre-Christian paganism, some of them even once being worshiped as deities.
- The characters are believed to punish children for misbehavior with death or beatings, cutting an odd figure next to Christ’s offer of mercy and grace.
The Christmas spirit usually banishes fear, but in some countries Christmas brings fear in abundance, trading Santa for ravenous ghouls who feast on children.
The story of the Magi’s visit to Jesus Christ and the historical figure of St. Nicholasgave rise to the tradition of gift giving during the commemoration of Christ’s birth. Holdovers from European paganism, however, introduced traditions of terror and retribution alongside what is otherwise a celebration of the hope of divine mercy and grace for all mankind in Christ.
Here are some of those terrifying Christmas traditions of Europe, sure to frighten children into good behavior as though their lives depended on it.
Germany may well have the largest number of creepy Christmas traditions, and Frau Perchta takes the cake as the most macabre. Perchta, also known as Berchta or Percht, is an ancient Alpine Pagan goddess whose followers would don masks of her likeness and wear them in public processions as her entourage, to ward off evil spirits and ghosts, from the last week in December to January 6. When the Germanic regions were Christianized, Frau Perchta and her processions remained as part of Christmas traditions in Bavaria and Austria — traditions that continue to this day.