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Parklji and Miklavževanje

In many parts of the former Austo-Hungarian Empire it is usual than on the night of the 5th of December Miklavž (St. Nicholas) and Parklji go across the villages. In the old days you got no gifts on Christmas, no Dedek Mraz or so, only good old Miklavž brought you an orange and a few figs if you were lucky (a good boy/girl). Otherwise you got a thin wooden stick (rod).

Parklji in Slovenia usually have a long red tongue hanging out of their mouth and chains, which sets them apart from other Parklji in Austria and elsewhere.

When Parklji came to your house, they pounded with chains on the door. I must not say that they scared the shyt out of the children. ;D Then the parents opened the door and let them in. Then the kids had to pray on their knees and if you didn't, or you were naughty during the year, they usually put you in chains and drag out in the snow. They often were rough, so that you remembered that day for a long time.

And old drawing, showing a Parkelj with his caracteristic long tongue, rods in his hand and a basketwith children. People used to say that Parklji would take you away in the basket if you were naughty.

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