1. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    15 Nov '05 20:12
    In many central European traditions St. Nicholas has some servants, or helpers, who accompany him on his travels. The stories differ, with some calling this companion Krampus, Black Peter, Pere Fouettard, Belznickel, or Knecht Ruprecht, depending on the region.

    Some, like Krampus, are depicted as being shaggy, horned and demonic in appearance. Knecht Ruprecht is often portrayed as a dark, sinister version of St. Nicholas, dressed in black and dirty clothes. He carries with him a stick, or a switch, and a sack.

    In some of the older tales, children would be summoned to the door to sing or dance for St. Nicholas and Knecht Ruprecht to show that they were good children. Those who did poorly would be savagely beaten by Knecht Ruprecht, while those who did well would be given various treats by St. Nicholas. Those who did very poorly, or who had been especially bad throughout the year, were put in Knecht Ruprecht's sack and taken away to his Black Forest home, or tossed in the river.

    There are other tales, some saying that St. Nicholas and Knecht Ruprecht would come at night and the children would wake to find their shoes filled with treats, coal, or a stick; the implication being that if you didn't improve, Knecht Ruprecht would return and beat you with that stick.

    That is my understanding of the Knecht Ruprecht tale. But being from America, this rather intriguing version of the Christmas story has not gained wide exposure here. I was wondering if any of the RHP members from central Europe (or anywhere) had any firsthand experience with this tale during their life and whether they can provide any other anecdotes or information to help flesh it out a little more. I would be most interested in the early, more violent, Knecht Ruprecht tales, but would also have some interest in the later, toned down versions, as well as tales about Krampus or any of St. Nicholas' various other servants.
  2. Standard memberroyalchicken
    CHAOS GHOST!!!
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    15 Nov '05 20:181 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    In many central European traditions St. Nicholas has some servants, or helpers, who accompany him on his travels. The stories differ, with some calling this companion Krampus, Black Peter, Pere Fouettard, Belznickel, or Knecht Ruprecht, depending on the region.

    Some, like Krampus, are depicted as being shaggy, horned and demonic in appearance. Knecht Ru ...[text shortened]... d down versions, as well as tales about Krampus or any of St. Nicholas' various other servants.
    Robert Schumann wrote a sort of bizarre piece of music called (I've only seen the title in English) 'Knight Rupert'. I wonder if this refers to the same person.

    Hrothgar reports that he would never use the Geltenpimpenschwert on anyone under the age of 10.
  3. Donationrwingett
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    16 Nov '05 00:50
    Originally posted by royalchicken
    Robert Schumann wrote a sort of bizarre piece of music called (I've only seen the title in English) 'Knight Rupert'. I wonder if this refers to the same person.

    Hrothgar reports that he would never use the Geltenpimpenschwert on anyone under the age of 10.
    I think "Knecht" means servant or farmhand. I doubt he's related to Knight Rupert.

    I am led to believe that in the olden days, Knecht Ruprecht was quite indiscriminate in the use of his Geltenpimpenschwert. Especially on children under the age of 10. But alas, he is barely authorized to give them a "timeout" in these modern times.
  4. Standard memberknightwest
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    16 Nov '05 01:031 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    In many central European traditions St. Nicholas has some servants, or helpers, who accompany him on his travels. The stories differ, with some calling this companion Krampus, Black Peter, Pere Fouettard, Belznickel, or Knecht Ruprecht, depending on the region.

    Some, like Krampus, are depicted as being shaggy, horned and demonic in appearance. Knecht Ru ...[text shortened]... d down versions, as well as tales about Krampus or any of St. Nicholas' various other servants.
    Knecht means servant or dogsbody. WHen I grew up, my brother and used to be "threatened" that we would get Knecht Ruprechts's switch if we'd been bad.

    If we'd been good we would get presents from Saint Nicolaus. We were never too good, but we never got the switch 😉

    On wikipedia, some of the names he gets called are very similar to Beelzebub, or the the Devil.

    EDIT: there is one inaccuracy on the Wikipedia article mentioning KR in relation to Christmas Eve. He has nothing to do with Christmas Eve, as St Nicolaus and KR would come around on the 6th of December.
  5. Donationrwingett
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    16 Nov '05 01:10
    Originally posted by knightwest
    Knecht means servant or dogsbody. WHen I grew up, my brother and used to be "threatened" that we would get Knecht Ruprechts's switch if we'd been bad.

    If we'd been good we would get presents from Saint Nicolaus. We were never too good, but we never got the switch 😉

    On wikipedia, some of the names he gets called are very similar to Beelzebub, o ...[text shortened]... othing to do with Christmas Eve, as St Nicolaus and KR would come around on the 6th of December.
    Wikipedia is where I got most of my information.

    What was your impression of what Knecht Ruprecht looked like?
  6. Subscriberno1marauder
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    16 Nov '05 01:211 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Wikipedia is where I got most of my information.

    What was your impression of what Knecht Ruprecht looked like?
    Blonde, leggy, large breasts, dressed in black leather. That Knecht Ruprecht wouldn't have to wait until December 6 to hit me with her Geltenpimpenschwert!

    EDIT: Alright according to this website http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/nikohelp.htm
    he was a dark and sinister figure in a tattered robe carrying a large sack. I like my version better.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    16 Nov '05 01:24
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Blonde, leggy, large breasts, dressed in black leather. That Knecht Ruprecht wouldn't have to wait until December 6 to hit me with her Geltenpimpenschwert!
    No...I'm afraid it's a lump of coal for you. You've been a very naughty boy. Or so I've been told.
  8. Forgotten
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    16 Nov '05 02:17
    i encountered black peter in north carolina
    but a few trips to the doctor and some shots and pills
    it cleared up
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    16 Nov '05 09:42
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I think "Knecht" means servant or farmhand. I doubt he's related to Knight Rupert.

    I am led to believe that in the olden days, Knecht Ruprecht was quite indiscriminate in the use of his Geltenpimpenschwert. Especially on children under the age of 10. But alas, he is barely authorized to give them a "timeout" in these modern times.
    The word knight derives from Old English cniht, meaning page boy, or servant (as is still the case in the cognate Dutch and German knecht)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight
  10. Standard memberWulebgr
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    17 Nov '05 02:34
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Wikipedia is where I got most of my information.
    OMG, truly knot. I post utter nonsense there just for kicks. 😕
  11. The sky
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    17 Nov '05 16:13
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I think "Knecht" means servant or farmhand. I doubt he's related to Knight Rupert.
    Schumann's piece is called "Knecht Ruprecht" in German.

    What's a Geltenpimpenschwert?
  12. The sky
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    17 Nov '05 16:20
    Originally posted by knightwest
    EDIT: there is one inaccuracy on the Wikipedia article mentioning KR in relation to Christmas Eve. He has nothing to do with Christmas Eve, as St Nicolaus and KR would come around on the 6th of December.
    I think both traditions exist. I also associate Knecht Ruprecht with Nikolaus, but in Theodor Storm's poem "Knecht Ruprecht", he comes on Christmas Eve: http://www.lyrikwelt.de/gedichte/stormg7.htm
  13. Felicific Forest
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    17 Nov '05 16:281 edit
    About Sinterklaas:

    http://www.dutchmarket.com/sklaas.html



    http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/~erik/sint/sint.html



    http://www.galactic-guide.com/articles/13R2.html
  14. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    18 Nov '05 10:11
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    OMG, truly knot. I post utter nonsense there just for kicks. 😕
    People generally catch that stuff pretty quick though, don't they?

    Well, let's find out! I saw this a little while ago:

    The term whale is ambiguous: it can refer to all of Lukes mums (even his two dads and a chemistry set, to just the larger ones, or only to members of particular families within the order Cetacea.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale

    This revision happened at 9:21 am Wikipedia time (whatever time zone that is). Let's see when it gets fixed.
  15. Standard memberroyalchicken
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    18 Nov '05 10:161 edit
    Originally posted by Nordlys
    Schumann's piece is called "Knecht Ruprecht" in German.

    What's a Geltenpimpenschwert?
    Thanks for the confirmation.

    The Geltenpimpenschwert is a joke from the days of yore, when Cribs got banned [due, some would say, to his race-ed]. Literally translated, it is the 'Golden pimping-sword', although you're the German-speaker, not I, but colloquially it is the Golden Pimpstick.
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