folk traditions

Here at disinformation HQ we’ve long been fans of Saturnalia and Winter Solstice celebrations, and there’s a strong pro-Krampus faction to boot. There are some holiday traditions we haven’t adopted yet, however,…

We discussed Krampus two weeks ago. The New Year’s equivalent is Japan’s Namahage, another colorful folk tradition that’s all about scarring kids for life. From Wikipedia:

Namahage is a Japanese ritual which is observed…in northern Honshū, Japan.

On New Year’s Eve, a group of young men dressed up as fierce bogeymen, Namahage, visit each house in the village, shouting: “any misbehaving kids live here?” They then scare children, telling them not to be lazy or cry, though little children often do burst into tears.Then the parents will assure the Namahage that there is no bad child in their house, and give food or traditional alcoholic beverages to the demons.

Below, some kids get a visit from the Namahage: