Posts Tagged ‘Belznickel’

Here Comes Anti-Claus

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Have you seen the previews for the movie Krampus? These days we don’t tend to think of monsters during the Christmas season, but back before we had the option of watching Elf or A Christmas Story on TV every night, we humans satisfied our need for entertainment by sharing Christmas stories around the fire. There is an ancient tradition of telling “winter tales” that included fantastic or paranormal elements inspired by our fears of the dark.Kate Dolan writes about the Christmas demon

My favorite figure from these tales is the Belznickel, a figure from Germanic legend that is very much like Krampus. They’re the opposite of St. Nicholas. Where the saintly Nick rewards children who’ve been good, the Belznickel does the opposite – he punishes the bad.

With whips and chains.

That could make for a very scary Christmas if you’ve been bad. (more…)

Have yourself a scary little Christmas

Friday, December 7th, 2012

It took me by surprise. I was viewing a gingerbread town Christmas display at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and there, right next to the chocolate bison, was a gingerbread graveyard. The sweet, innocent, childlike associations of frosted gingerbread fit our image of Christmas, but seem really out of place with the concept of death, decay and the macabre. Did that graveyard belong in a Christmas display? And how about the zombie Christmas tree (“Dear Santa, pleaz bring me some brains”) I saw at the Festival of Trees? What has happened to our wholesome holiday? Is it being corrupted?Kate Dolan writes about Gingerbread Zombies and other scary signs of Christmas

Nope. It’s just recapturing some of its former gory glory.

Long winter nights have provided the perfect backdrop for storytelling since humans were first able to build a fire and stay awake after sundown. And at the time of year when the sun seems to be in danger of disappearing entirely, it is natural that the darkness would inspire tales of death and evil spirits from beyond. (more…)