Web Analytics
Still celebrated by the descendants of German immigrants in America today, Belsnickel is a menacing character who bears some similarities to Santa Claus — but has a violent approach all his own.
In a 2012 episode of The Office, the character Dwight Shrute comes to work dressed as Belsnickel, a disheveled, switch-wielding screwball who gives out presents and punishments for Christmas. As his bemused colleagues soon realize, Belsnickel is no figment of Dwight’s overactive imagination, but a real figure from German folklore.

Indeed, Belsnickel has been celebrated by the descendants of German immigrants in the United States for years. The Pennsylvania Dutch regularly include this bewildering figure in their Christmas traditions, delighting in how he punishes naughty children and rewards well-behaved ones.

So where exactly did the legend of Belsnickel come from and what does he do? And how does this Christmas figure differ from others like Krampus?

You may also like