Geeky Historical Christmas Facts pt 22 and 23

So we’ve come to the penultimate edition of the geeky historical facts – we hope you’ve all enjoyed reading them and having a gander at pics from BSL’s Christmas shows over the years… 

Fact #22 concerns the Vikings (again) and the Krampen.

The Vikings god Odin is said to be a precursor to the ‘modern idea’ of Santa Claus. According to myth, Odin rode his flying horse, Sleipnir (a precursor to the reindeer), who had eight legs. In the winter, Odin gave out gifts and punishments, and children would fill their boots or stockings with treats for Sleipnir. Something like this tradition of treats and punishments is still performed in austria by the Krampen (men in furs with horns, chains and masks), who visit houses with St Nicholas, and while st Nic is responsible for handing out the treats, the Krampen burst in, and drag the occiupnats out and wrestle violently with the. I totally love this! (as a side note, I saw Cameron Jamie’s film Kranky Klaus with Melvins playing a live soundtrack to it… Here’s some stills from the film as I can’t find it anywhere online – you will love it – and the Krampen in all their demonic glory!

Festive fact #23 – the candy cane.

If you remember, the historical fact about the christmas tree stated that early decorations included food. The Candy Cane grew out of this tradition as early as the 17 century. At the suggestion of the choirmaster in cologne cathedral, germany, craftsmen created white candy sticks to represent the shepherd’s crooks, which were handed to the children to keep them quiet during nativity scene ceremonies. While the white is meant to represent purity, as the tradition for the cane spread throughout the world, the red stripe appeared, again like in the other traditions, to symbolise the blood. Delicious.

Today’s pic is our lovely DeeDee surrounded by the festive Primrose Proper and Chio Hezar from last years’ Hothouse Flowers Christmas-but-not-christmas show! 

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