Saturday, December 7, 2013

K.A.C. 2013 - T - 18 ...

     Yep, this little charmer is part of Christmas, too! Each year I find some new mythological horror from the Krampus Files to bring to light. This year we go to the land of Greece, where you will find the Kallikantzaros (also known as the kallikantzeri) - malevolent goblins who step up the whole mischief game during this time of year. Hey, anybody can run off with bad children (right, Krampus?) - these bad boys play for keeps! Let's have artist Christos describe the hellion he painted (and grew up with) at left:

     "When I was a little child, my grandmother used to tell me stories about some creatures that appear in our world from time to time. The legends and the beliefs of every place always have a dark and mysterious tale to narrate. The curiosity for every eerie thing made me feel that I craved for such stories, even though, to be honest, I was afraid of them :D . In Greece there are certain beliefs about some creatures that appear in our world on Christmas day and live among us for the next twelve days. These creatures are called Kallikantzaroi(goblins). It is said that at the rest of the year the Kallikantzaroi live under the surface of the earth and try to cut the big tree that holds it, in order to fall down. With axes made of wood and stone the Kallikantzaroi hew the tree that holds the earth, but before they cut it, Christmas arrives and they forget their task so they ascend on the earth, in order to peeve the humans and do various mischievous things by sneaking in their houses through the chimneys. The Kallikantzaroi are creatures of the night and during the day they hide from the sun, because they fear it. When the twelfth day arrives, January 6th(Epiphany), the Kallikantzaroi return to their subterranean location, but in the meantime the tree has become the way it was before, so they have to cut it again from the start."

     You can find more of Christos' fine art here:

     Should you be unfortunate enough to have an outbreak of Kallikantzaroi in your house this holiday season, don't worry - we've got that covered, as well! Here (from the 1950 Ideals Christmas issue) is how to get rid of them:

     "The peasants call upon the priest to make them disappear until next year. A cross, entwined with sprigs of basil, is dipped into a copper vessel of Holy Water, and then each room of the house is sprinkled. 

     To further assure that those mysterious beings will not appear, old leather shoes, saved throughout the year, are burned, and the odor is believed to chase away the mischief-makers."

     And your friends, relatives, mailmen ... the list goes on and on!

     Our goblin friend is also the cause for delayed gift-giving, just one of the odder traditions around the world:
     "Christmas traditions vary from culture to culture. Finns often visit saunas on Christmas Eve, while Portuguese revelers hold a feast on Christmas Day for the living and the dead (extra places are set for the souls of the deceased). In Greece, some believe that goblins called kallikantzeri run wild during the 12 days of Christmas, and most Greeks don't exchange presents until Jan. 1, St. Basil's Day. Thanks to their geographic location, most Australians and New Zealanders enjoy Christmas on the beach or at barbecues. Spain, meanwhile, hosts the world's largest lottery." (Courtesy Time Lists)

     Which leads us directly to our next topic tomorrow - check back then!

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