People around the world celebrate Christmas in very different ways and while locally we may take a more jolly and cheery approach, abroad there are a few darker traditions. Horror fans, rejoice! Here are some of the odd, unusual, and a tad bit creepy holiday figures that are a part of Christmas practices in other parts of the world.
Germany and Austria’s Krampus
While the western world continues to blackmail children into behaving year-round with the promise of presents under their holiday tree, the people of central Europe prefer to scare their little ones into good behavior by creating the legend of a half-goat, half-demon monster who punishes ill-mannered children at Christmastime. Krampus is the devilish companion of St. Nicholas whose name derives from the German word, Krampen, which translates to “claw”. Said to be the son of a Norse goddess, Hel, Krampus is often portrayed holding chains, bells, and a bundle of sticks, which he uses to beat the naughty children with before carrying them down to the underworld.
Iceland’s Yule Cat
Also known as Jolakotturinn, the Yule Cat stems from a traditional, Icelandic legend where a monstrous, prowling cat devours any child who has not received new clothes as a gift before Christmas day arrives. Also, naughty children who have not helped out with chores would be forced to face the Yule Cat when it turns up on Christmas Eve to eat their dinner and quite possibly, them!
Eastern Europe’s Christmas spiders
Thought to be a folk story that stems from Ukrainian tradition, many eastern European cultures will put spider-web ornaments on their Christmas trees. Thought to bring good luck, the legend speaks of an impoverished widow and her children who tended to a tree as it grew year-round in hopes they would be able to use it as their holiday tree in December. Unfortunately, they would not be able to afford it, and instead, spent Christmas Eve crying themselves to sleep. The spiders heard their cry and spent all night weaving their webs on the Christmas tree and when the morning sunlight hit the webs, they turned into silver and gold so that the widow and her children were never poor again.
Finally, a culture that worships the good in our favorite creepy crawlies. For those who want to start carrying out this awesome tradition, you can buy some DIY cobwebs and spider horror collectibles online and use them for Christmas 2021!
Japan’s Santa Kuroshu
The holiday season is celebrated very differently in Japan, with the entity of Santa Claus going by the name, Santa Kuroshu. According to legend, this version of St. Nick has eyes on the back of his head to keep closer tabs on naughty children. The people of Japan also choose to avoid the color red on Christmas, as it’s often associated with death and grieving.
While we don’t sell any replicas of Santa Kuroshu, you can buy other horror collectibles online that are similar including The Misfits 8” Holiday Fiend Figure and the Silent Night, Deadly Night 8” Clothed Billy Figure.
Which of the above Christmas traditions is your favorite? Drop a comment below to let us know what you intend to celebrate in the seasons to come.