Being an Atheist it is tough to get through the xmas holidays without a little teeth grinding and tongue holding. That being said I like to pick apart the mythos of our fun holidays. I find that the most enjoyable way to do this is to either examine the truth in origins of these holidays or examine other cultures interpretations of them. Take some time and look around and you will find this blog chock full of holiday weirdness.
I have already talked about the mean old Krampus over HERE. So today I would like to introduce you to another strange xmas character called Zwarte Piet. Now Zwarte Piet is a part of the xmas folklore coming from the Netherlands where Sinterklass is the man of the hour. Zwarte Piet roughly translates into “Black Pete”. The story goes that as he traveled the lands ole Santa ran accross a beggar in the street and decided to help him get back on his feet. The beggar realizing the gift he had been given vowed to stay with Santa and help him for the rmainder of his days. This seems like a pretty charming tale until you realize that this servitude has been going on now for hundreds of years and the reason this little fellow is Black is because Santa in the Netherlands makes him do all of the dirty work handing out the presents to the children and climbing down the chimneys to drop off gifts.
Zwarte Piet is often portrayed as a mischievous but rarely a mean-spirited character. Dutch Parents are said to tell their children that if they have been good, Zwarte Piet will bring them gifts and sweets, but if they have been bad, Piet will scoop them up, stuff them in his huge dufflebag and spirit them away to Spain as punishment.
So there you have it another wild and weird xmas character to add to your collection. HoHoHo!