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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Knecht Ruprecht - Santa's Little Helper

Santa's helpers have not always been nice, kind, or cute. In Europe, Santa's elves were said to travel with him when he was delivering presents, carrying a switch with which to beat nasty, ill-behaved children as well as a sack to remove the worst children. This year, we are going to be discussing Knecht Ruprecht (Servent Ruprecht). In English, he's Rupert, Saint Rupert.

Rupert is said to be an orphan, who Saint Nick (Santa) took under his wing as his servant or assistant to help him in the Christmas festivities, but he got to do the crap job. In stories of old, Knecht Ruprecht prays with the children and if they refuse, he beats the little brats with his bag of ashes. If they comply, they get snacks.

In modern times, Rupert gives the little brats crappy gifts like coal. Sometimes in stories of old he will leave a switch in your shoes so your parents can beat the crap out of you with it. I'm glad I'm not a kid in Germany. I would have gotten a hickory switch every year!  He's sort of like the dirty white version of Black Peter (Black Pete).