A little late but here is my Christmas post.
I spent a bit of time trying to work out where I was going to go with this post. After I began to do a bit of research I discovered one thing. Halloween is the holiday that we tend to associate with witches; forget that. Christmas is not all Santa and Elves; Christmas is all about the witches.
So if you have children and are somewhere around Germany at Christmas time listen up. Frau Perchta will pop on in and all things being well drop off a coin for the good little kiddies. Lovely isn’t it. Unfortunately for the bad kids they get their bellies slit and innards replaced with garbage. Not too sure exactly why the garbage. It may be useful if, well there is actually no way that is useful. Frau Perchta has many different names across most of Europe including Bertha, Holda, Posterli, Quatemberca and Fronfastenweiber. In the interest of gender equality not all of these are female.
The Italians have a better time of it. Probably the most well-known of the Christmas witches. La Befana is the Italian version of Saint Nicholas. Distributing presents or coal as necessary. No belly slitting just a kindly old woman who sheltered the magi on their journey to see the baby Jesus. The Russian equivalent is Babushka
Those crazy Icelanders have the witch/troll Gryla. Once again we head into more terrifying territory with child eating de rigour for this icy maiden.
The connection between witches and Christmas don’t stop there. Those colourful baubles we hang on our trees with glee are just old fashioned Scottish witch balls. Hung to protect against witches, evil spells, negativity and ill fortune. Which, with proliferation of witchery around Christmas seems not only a quint tradition but a bloody good idea. Kind of like making sure you carry a pointy stick with you everywhere after the zombie apocalypse.
Based on all the hype it would seem that Halloween is the annual event of the witch but not really. Halloween is just a time when witches hang out, maybe do some rituals and if the current trend of costumes is anything to go by wear really short skirts. But Christmas is when they get down to actual work. Dropping off presents, killing and eating children; that sort of thing. Now I may be in the minority here but if I had to pick a time of the year that was most associated with witches, for me, it’s Christmas.
So for any witches out there, I hope you had a good Christmas.