Oh, do you know that ugly, that nasty man?
Wow! Can you call that fellow a human being?
Yes, that he is a human, may be believed by whomever wants to,
He looks to me too much like the devil!
Just look at his eyes, his nose—wow!
He opens and closes his mouth like shears;
A tail like an ox, yes, that he has, right?
And a hairy pelt like the bears.
If he comes into your house, there’ll be noise enough,
He seeks out the bad children!
And if he finds one, he get right to the point,
And beats, very badly, the sinners.
He stands there with that terrible whip,
And grumbles his threatening speech;
The children suddenly become very good
And begin to pray mightily!
If one of them, as is sometimes the case, was right mischievous;
Wanted to mock his mother’s whip;
I bet he won’t laugh at Belsnickel’s whip—
He quickly begs for good weather.
Now Belsnickel shakes his bag terribly,
Out fall the cakes and chestnuts;
Whoever is good can pick them up; whoever is bad, then whack!
He flogs him thoroughly.
From the Belsnickel I have now learned something,
I will never forget it:
After you sow, then in the harvest
The fruit of your work is meted out!
* Translated by PBS.org
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→ ‘Yes Helen, there is a Belsnickel’.
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I came across this Belsnickel story on the Appalachian Lifestyles blog by Matthew Burns. He was gracious enough to grant me permission to repost it here. Enjoy.
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Yes! Kick Santa to the curb and turn Belsknickel loose upon the land.
For more 'Ask A PA Dutchman' episodes and Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch language videos check out Doulgas Madenford's YouTube channel.
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Needless to say the first Belsnickle ...
The sound is not that great but this clip is very informative and well worth watching if you want to learn more about the Pennsylvania Dutch tradtion of Der Belsnickel.
In my mind's eye, the fanciful events depicted in Der Belsnickel Suite portray two special days on a family farm in a rustic and sturdy home built from field stone. ...
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→ Pennsylvania Folkways: The Belsnickel brings light and darkness - Reading Eagle
After having read many articles about Belsnickel, I find that one the most interesting aspects about the tradition is ...
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‘Yes Helen, there is a Belsnickel’
Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum old-fashioned Christmas offers look at Pennsylvania German life in 1842
Christmastime in the Land of the Belsnickel by Matthew Burns
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Folk artist Peter V. Fritsch was a beloved portrayer of Pennsylvania Dutch culture
Landis Valley Museum “Days of the Belsnickel” Lunch Tour
VIDEO| Origin of the “Belsnickel” In Under A Minute
Belsnickle Santa of yesteryear was not so jolly
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Der Belsnickel Suite, a symphonic work by Dave Kline performed by the Reading Philharmonic Orchestra
VIDEO: What is a Belsnickel?
The history of Santa Claus with reference to Belsnickel and Kris Kringle
Pennsylvania Folkways: The Belsnickel brings light and darkness