Strange & Unusual Spotlight:
Kallikantzaros are wicked little goblins that have been found in folklore and legends all throughout Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, and Cyprus. No one knows when exactly the stories of the goblins came to be, but they have become one of the more mischievous aspects of the Christmas season.
According to legend, the kallikantzaros live underground where they spend the whole year cutting away at the World Tree. However, from December 25th-January 6th (the 12 Days of Christmas) the kallikantzaros return to the surface of the earth where they wreak havoc on humans.
In some parts of Eastern Europe, the 12 Days of Christmas are “unbaptized days” and the time of year when demonic forces (such as the kallikantzaros) are thought to be at their most powerful. Throughout history, people wouldn’t go outside once it was dark and came up with ways to repel the little monsters.
Surprisingly, colanders were supposed to help keep the kallikantzaros out of your home. Simply placing a colander on your doorstep was enough to distract the little goblins until daylight. It was common knowledge that the kallikantzaros couldn’t count above two so it would spend the night trying to count the holes in the colander. Yule logs were also used against the kallikantzaros. People would leave fires running for all twelve days to make sure the goblins couldn’t enter their homes. And any child born during the time of the kallikantzaros and the 12 Days of Christmas would have their toenails singed to keep them from transforming into one of the monsters… It’s debatable if that actually worked since all babies turn into monsters once they’re two years old.
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