Interesting Place - Christmas Fact - Austria

Austria is campaigning to save the Christkind, their traditional Christmas gift giver, from the red and white menace of Santa Claus.

(Traditionally the Christkind leaves a fully decorated tree and presents after dark on Christmas Eve, but Santa has been dropping down the chimney and is better at self promotion. This has caused a bit of a fuss, as Santa is seen as an American usurper, but according to the curator of the Joanneum museum in Graz, even the Christkind is not really an Austrian tradition. It all started in the Protestant areas of Germany in the 16th Century, and only arrived in largely Catholic Austria in 1870. Before that Austrians would make seasonal offerings to household spirits. If the children of Austria are canny, they'll invite the Christkind, Father Christmas, Santa and any little sprites or spirits to leave presents.)

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