Kallikantzaroi – Christmas Goblins
Salutations, holiday greetings, and other jingly stuff!
For our last creature feature, we introduced you to the Jolasveinar, mountain trolls who love to steal food and other things (mostly just food) during the twelve days of Christmas. They aren’t the only ones. While the Jolasveinar were mucking about up North, the kallikantzaroi were doing much of the same in Greece.
If you follow NBC’s Grimm on Friday nights, you might have seen these guys wrecking houses and eating lots of fruit cake recently. In that episode, “The Grimm Who Stole Christmas,” we see three little Christmas goblins wreaking havoc in their own special way. Turns out they were just monster kids going through puberty.
Which isn’t too far off from the original folklore.
A kallikantzaros…(think it’s hard to say? Try typing it!)…is a Greek term that describes several different evil spirits and nasties. The kallikantzaros that we are talking about is a squat, hairy, goatlike demon with monkey arms, pointy ears, sharp teeth, and other animal parts that lives underneath the earth. Together, the kallikantzaroi hack and chip at the roots of the World Tree (the tree that holds up the world) with the intention of toppling it.
During the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas, however, the hairy goblins get distracted, coming up to the surface to terrify Christians during their celebrations, playing pranks big and small, eating the holiday treats, and generally making a mess. When the Twelve Days are over, the kallikantzaroi go back to their work underground, only to find that the World Tree has healed itself.
Don’t worry, though, there are ways to ward of these Christmas goblins, and it’s pretty easy. All you have to do is…bar your doors, nail down your windows, turn up the flames in your fireplace (like a certain jolly, red-cloaked man, they slide down the chimney), and…
…leave a colander on your doorstep.
Yep. A colander. Like Slavic vampires, the kallikantzaroi are apparently a bit OCD and have to stop to count the holes in the colander before they can attempt to break into your home.
Of course, they can’t count above two, as saying “three” is considered holy and will kill them.
Kitchenware hasn’t been so effective against monsters since Gremlins.