Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Latvian Santa...

The Latvian Santa is called Winter Holiday Old Man, (Ziemas svetku vecitis). In appearance he is similar to what the pre-christian God looked like. The usual ritual on Christmas Eve was for Santa to arrive after dinner when the folks were sitting around the tree and singing carols.

His outfit was similar to the common Santa in US, except he also carried bells and birch switch. The kids made a presentation: music, sing, recite poem or tell a story to earn something from the sack. Usually, each kid got a present (small families gave all presents from the sack) and then Santa was off to visit other homes, but left extra full sacks for the head of the household to pass out. The Santa Claus is considered a pagan tradition.

1 comment:

  1. I love the didication to detail in this paper. My lineage is Latvian and I was not aware at how important Santa was to my heritage. Thanks for giving me more to think about.