Christmas is jam-packed full of all sorts of fantastical characters, such as elves, snowmen and good ol’ Saint Nick himself. Different countries around the world have different characters, which are an important part of their festive culture. Here are 10 of the weirdest Christmas characters from across the globe.
Many Austrian children are afraid of Krampus, a Christmas devil who is thought to beat naughty children with branches. Men dress up as the evil character and roam the streets over Christmas to frighten children.
The figure of Caganer – a defecating person – often appears in many of the nativity scenes in Catalonia. And you thought the Three Wise Men brought rubbish gifts!
3. The Kallikantzaroi
According to Greek legend, an evil race of goblins, known as the Kallikantzaroi, lurk underground until the 12 days of Christmas to wreak havoc across the country.
South African children are often told the scary story of Danny, a young boy who ate all the cookies that had been left out for Father Christmas. His angry Grandmother therefore killed him, and he is said to haunt homes during the Christmas holiday.
5. Santa Kurohsu
Santa Kurohsu is a Japanese Santa Claus, who is believed to have eyes in the back of his head so he can always watch naughty children.
Groups of ‘mummers’ will visit Latvian households during the festive period, dressed up in a variety of odd costumes. Each home should present the mummers with a treat in return for a blessing.
7. The Yule Cat
The Yule Cat, a mythical feline who roams the Icelandic hills, is thought to devour those who do not receive new clothes before Christmas Eve.
The Yule Lads are a little bit like the Seven Dwarfs, but a lot less helpful. Each of the 13 Icelandic characters has a name that compliments their personalities, such as: Pot-Scraper, Door-Sniffer, Window-Peeper, Sausage-Swiper and Spoon-Licker.
10. Tio de Nadal
Tio de Nadal is a log that poops out presents. It’s a character from Catalan mythology, and Catalonians will place a log on the fire and order it to defecate. To make the log defecate, one must beat it with a stick whilst signing the songs of Tio de Nadal. No, we’re not joking!
Do you know any other unusual Christmas characters? Tell us about them! Read about odd Christmas traditions by clicking on this handy link.
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