The dark pre-Christian tradition that has persisted for centuries

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Saint Nicholas and his band of fearsome men advanced through the snowy forests of Czech Wallachia.  Photo: AP

Among the snowy forest, a shadowy figure accompanied by the devil moves houses at this time of year, in remote parts of Europe. This is not a script for a horror movie. It is part of the Christmas celebrations in some small Czech towns, where Saint Nicholas, the “ancestor” of Santa Claus, marches in scary clothes that keep an ancient pre-Christian custom that has survived the centuries.

But who is Saint Nicholas? And why is he marching with the devil and the Grim Reaper among children in the cold forests of Europe? Let’s see.

Saint Nicholas And His Band Of Fearsome Men Advanced Through The Snowy Forests Of Czech Wallachia.  Photo: ApSaint Nicholas and his band of fearsome men advanced through the snowy forests of Czech Wallachia. Photo: AP

Saint Nicholas, according to tradition is a bishop in Turkey who lived between the third and fourth centuries of our era and who came from Turkey or, perhaps, a Spanish bishop who sailed for the Netherlands, He is the ancestor of Santa Claus. Let’s say, his inspiration.

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His number occupied Christmas in Europe for centuries share with Santa Claus himself, from Scandinavia, with Italian Befanaa witch who travels on a broom and brings gifts, and with the Three Wise Men, with many roots in Spain or Portugal.

People With Horror Masks Leading The Procession In An Ancient Pre-Christian Custom.  Photo: Ap

In a remote region of Central Europe, in Czech Wallachia, bordering Slovakia, there are still preserved pre-Christian traditions in which people are now made to participate Saint Nicholas parades with the devil and the grim reaper.

The parade lasted for three days and different groups participated in it. They go from house to house knocked on the door.

Sin Nicolás offers sweets to the children and his companions, figures preserved before Christian times, dressed as creatures that represent death. A cable from the AP agency said that the masks they were wearing They would serve as talismans to scare away demons in the mountains that shelter them in the winter.

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The Candies Offered By Saint Nicholas, For Children, Are A Balm After Getting The Fear Out Of Their Lives When They See Scary Costumes.  Photo: Michal Cizek / Afp)

The candies offered by Saint Nicholas, for children, are a balm after getting the fear out of their lives when they see scary costumes.

The current Czech Vlach are the descendants of those expelled from present-day Romania in the 10th century. The Magyar (Hungarian) nomads drove them from their lands and Transylvania and settled in the region of Moravia, the eastern part of the present. -day Czechia.

The Vlachs kept their dialect (Slavic, with Slovak and Czech influences) Daco-Romanian lexicon, derived from Latin.

In the oldest historiography, there are also references to the fact that the Vlachs of Moravia are descendants of the Volks, a Celtic people who came to Romania, Romanized, and then Slavicized in Moravia. The history of forced mixing and population movement, timeless history of central Europe.

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A Man Dressed As A Devil Joins The Tradition.  Photo: Ap

Saint Nicholas, who was a Christian bishop of the ancient city of Myra who lived in the 3rd and 4th centuries, is known for his kindness and generosity.