Santa Rode a Goat?


Santa Rode a Goat?
-By Debbi Decker

Every year, right before Thanksgiving, my father would start the holiday decorating, bringing out his vast collection of Santa figurines. These were collectible ornaments that he would stand on his mantel over the fireplace. The figures were based upon legends about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus from all eras and from all over the world. A few of the figures were rather interesting in that they included some of the more pagan elements of the legends. There were figures with wassail bowls, Santa masks, holly crowns, and assorted animals associated with the legends.

One particular figurine that always fascinated and puzzled me was that of a Santa wearing a crown of holly leaves, holding a wassail bowl, and riding a goat. Yes, a goat. I always enjoyed seeing that one, and would make sure Daddy put it in a prominent place on the mantel so it was visible to all. It resonated with me as a Pagan, because the goat, holly, and wassail bowl are all pre-Christian references to older Pagan legends associated with the Winter Solstice season.

This year, I ran across a post by a fellow Halloween Artist Bazaar member (Chad Savage and his annual Creepmas event), that referenced the word “Joulupukki”. Curious, I googled the word, and what do you know but here lies the meaning behind that figurine of Santa riding a goat.

Joulupukki is a Finnish word which means “Christmas Goat” or “Yule Goat”. While I did not find a great deal of information, it appears that the Yule Goat is connected to Norse mythology and the goat was the animal that pulled Woden’s chariot during the Wild Hunt at the Winter Solstice. There are still areas in Finland where older men will dress up as goats and perform for food leftover from celebrations. These men are called “Nuttipukki”. I have to say that looking at the images in connection with the Nuttipukki, I can see a very close correlation with the images of Krampus that are becoming so popular now.

The Santa my father owned came in a box with an explanation on the back that focused mostly on the old English custom of Wassailing, stating that the figurine was modeled after a sketch done by Robert Seymour, an illustrator for the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Nothing is mentioned about the goat other than it being a beloved English custom (!) of Santa sometimes seen as riding either a goat or a donkey. While I did research the Pickwick Papers, I was not able to find the illustration, however, I did run across it in The Book of Christmas by Thomas Hervey, published in 1836 (the date shown on the base of the figurine).

So, there you have it. Santa sometimes rides a goat, and drinks wassail (mulled cider) while sporting a holly crown. I suspect he is the life of any party he attends.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of Crazed Poppet Creations Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Holiday Spirits 2014

With Winter comes the Holiday Spirit. Halloween Artist Bazaar has assembled a collection of spirits and ghost to spread good cheer for the holidays. As December progresses more spirits will be added to the display so visit again to see ghosts have passed through.

We wish you a grand Winter holiday filled with spirit and good cheer!

Twilight Faerie – Christmas Spirits framed print
twistedpixelstudio – The Revenants Children ornaments
Jynxx Designs – MR.Boo charm bracelet
Chaos In Color – Vorspookum
Art By Sarada- The Ghost in the Clock Chamber
Sauvage Raven Creations – Hary Houdini
Meatspider- Christmas Goul
Art for A Gloomy Day- Pretty Little Screams
Janis Logsdon Jewelry and Art- Steampunk Angel Charm
Ghost Colony – Gathering Snow
Tocsin Designs – Boo Broach
Ghostgap – Ghost Jewelry Set

Winter Holiday Give Away 2014 !


The Winter Holiday Give Away has concluded!

Thank you to all who entered and spread holiday cheer. A winner has been chosen. Check back with Halloween Artist Bazaar through out the year for seasonal promotions and give aways. We appreciate your interest in Halloween Artist Bazaar and for keeping the spirit of Halloween alive!

To all a very happy Winter Holiday!

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How To Enter:

Visit one of the contributing HAB artist shops and leave them a message of sincere holiday cheer in the subject line. The message can be what ever winter greeting you prefer.
Next like the HAB Facebook page and message us with a greeting of Winter cheer on our wall.
Fill out the form below.

Official Rules

Entry deadline is Midnight on December 18th 2014. The Winner will be chosen at random. One entry per person. Winner will be notified via email. The prize will ship on December 19 2014. The winners name will be posted on the Halloween Artist Bazaar website and Facebook page. Members of Halloween Artist Bazaar are not qualified for entry. No age restrictions. Contest open internationally, however please note that prize may not arrive before December 25th due to international shipping delays.*your countries custom charges may apply.*

Contributing Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists:(check back as the list grows and photo’s of the winnings are posted!)
Twilight Faerie
twistedpixelstudio
Lttle Shop of Horrors
Sauvage Raven Creations
Chaos In Color
Jynxx Designs
Janis Logsdon Jewelry and Art
Art By Sarada
Odd Origins