Raven’s Claw! Der Belsnickel…

belsnickle1

Der Belsnickel

From Wikipedia:

The Belsnickel character originated in the Rhineland. When people immigrated to Pennsylvania, they brought their German traditions with them.[6] Belsnickel was known in Pennsylvania in the early 1800s.[3] Amongst the Pennsylvania Germans, Belsnickel is the character who visits homes prior to Christmas to check up on the behavior of the children. The traditional Belsnickel showed up at houses 1–2 weeks before Christmas and often created fright because he always knew exactly which of the children misbehaved.[7] He would rap on the door or window with his stick and often the children would have to answer a question for him or sing some type of song. In exchange he would toss candies onto the floor. If the children jumped too quick for the treats, they may end up getting struck with Belsnickel’s switch. Although he may seem like a harsh character, the tradition of Belsnickel is an amusing one and rather benign.

belsnickleAn 1853 article in a British magazine describing Pennsylvanian customs refers to “Pelsnichol, or Nicholas with the fur, alluding to the dress of skins in which he is said to be clad. Some make Pelsnichol identical with Krishkinkle, but the more general opinion is that they are two personages, one the rewarder of the good, the other the punisher of the bad.” According to this article, Pelsnichol merely leaves a birch rod in the stockings of naughty children. [8]

imageThere are two versions of Belsnickel, the rural and the urban characters. Both are described in the book, Christmas in Pennsylvania: a folk cultural study, by Alfred L. Shoemaker and Don Yoder. The tradition fell into decline toward the end of the nineteenth century, but has seen a revival in recent years.[3]

 

imagePHONE READINGS

Our Psychics are available on a daily basis for phone readings.

I will be available for Phone readings this evening after 7:30 PM Eastern this evening. My daily availability is always posted on my call page.

I also  have some  availability for in-person and private group readings in the Cape May area for the month of December! Phone 609-849-8405 or email  ravn@raven-star.org for more information!

All for now,

Machts gut un sei gesund!

R. Scott Bitting (Ravn)

tulip

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