I'm not afraid. I have been a GOOD dog!
And so you should be afraid of this pre-Christian pagan spirit of winter. Scandinavians prayed that he (and his cohorts - in many countries the attributes of Santa are split over a few characters) would not harm them. "Do no harm to me or mine".
Some of the older traditions still survive. Where I partly live in the Bavarian Alps, below is what you get to see when you meet the 'Klauser' (a la Santa Claus).
He/they run around the street whipping people with birches (see pics). And believe me it hurts!
In the old traditions Father Christmas was no friend to children - he was to be feared!
those are bad ass!
Wow, I did not know that! Truly amazing. Is there ANYTHING about Christianity that is original?
it's the made in china beard that i'd be questioning...
Wish my friends and I could have dressed up as Klausers with the birches at the Xmas program of my Catholic grade school. It would have been payback time for those sadistic priests and nuns.
Incredible cuteness. This is a once in a lifetime photo.
My thoughts exactly! I just had to share it with my favorite community of online heathens.