Christmas Myths Around The World

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Christmas Myths Around The World

Photo Courtesy of picture alliance

Photo Courtesy of picture alliance

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Photo Courtesy of picture alliance

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Photo Courtesy of picture alliance

Tara Afshar, Journalist

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In the many countries around the world, many traditions are upheld as a way to celebrate the hundreds of holidays and occasions. As the Christmas season is often referred to as the season of unity, it is no surprise that one holiday brings cultures around the world together with something they have in common. Iceland, like many other countries, have myths that surround their holidays. The Icelandic Christmas has 13 Santas known as the “Yule Lads” that are thought to be the sons of a mean troll in the mountains that attacks misbehaving children, each troll son represents the 13 days leading up to Christmas. What really scares the children is the Christmas Cat (or Yule Cat), which will come and get you if you don’t wear a new article of clothing on Christmas.
The Finnish people have a similar myth called the Yule Goat that used to demand presents, but then turned into a present giver. Overtime the Yule Goat just turned into the modern day Santa Claus. However, they still call Santa Claus “Joulupukki”, which still translates to Yule Goat. Additionally, “Saint Lucia’s Day” (On December 13th)  is also celebrated by Finland, some parts of Italy, and the Scandinavian countries. This became a festival of lights, but in parts of Italy they believe that Saint Lucia would dress in a white gown and red sash and give presents and coal away to children.
Countries like Germany and Austria have the Christ Child or “Christkind” instead of Santa Claus, who is believed to be the reincarnation of Jesus. The Christ Child is said to be a young girl or boy with a halo a top their head and dressed white. Martin Luther thought of the idea to exchange presents from Saint Nicholas Day til December 24th with Christ Child. On the days leading up to Christmas Eve many European families go to Church on the Sundays of the December months, just like many others around the world.