Our holiday special is back! We're once again looking at holiday figures from around the world. Today, we’re going to have a mix of Scandinavian and Japanese traditions as we cover the nisse, the Yule Goat, and the Seven Lucky Gods.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by Fedex. Where can you pick up both ice cream and ice skates, electric toothbrushes and electric guitar amps at Walgreens? That's because right now you can pick up. Your Fedex package is right. Where you shop, this holiday Fedex is helping you take more control of your deliveries. Just send your packages to a Fedex, pickup location at Wawa means and don't worry about being home to receive them with more than eight thousand locations across the country. You can find one convenient for you. Visit Fedex darker slash holiday guide, to learn more work. the stuff you missed in history class of production of I hurried use how stuff works Hello I'm going to the past, I'm Holly fry and after leaving. You will then and the happy
daisies Tracy. Yes, it is after Thanksgiving, so I feel ok about saying that at least it will be with us. Every third comes out the last thing where recording before we actually I've got holiday ye. I now I'd out. We ve talked about this, I think so aquaculture doing pop stuff I mentioned. I have no calendar issues with people saying be holiday, greetings in July, because I grew up going to craft here is where the holidays are always sure sure do. I know I don't have any concerns, and I, my house is literally Halloween three hundred sixty five days a year, so
to be the holidays are very fluid, but we are officially in December, which is when most people would get into the holiday spirit and back in twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen, we did a series of three holiday episodes, two and twenty fifteen one in twenty. Sixteen that we called the Crampness Inference Holiday special. We ve missed them so this year we are bringing it back for a part for just for expectations, management for any listeners who were not listening back then it may be haven't heard those episodes. This episode does not feature. Crampness Memphis kicked off the whole thing for us and that's where we call it compass and friends: we covered him in part? One? You can go back and listen to that or to all three if you really want to travel the world of holiday traditions, but today we are going to have a mix of scandinavian and japanese traditions as recover. The Nyssa, the you'll goat and the seven lucky gods, so scandinavian folklore features a familiar looking little fellow who goes by a slightly different
name depending on what country your in in Norway he's known as Nyssa in Sweden, he's tormentor and his tongue to in Finland. They are pretty consistent, these depictions and how their characterized across those various countries. The names are just a little different, and the word new sir, is said to be a derivation of the name, meals Nicholas essentially and tom- to shares a route with the Swedish were attempt, which is a land parcel or a homestead.
And the tempter or miss is a solitary creature at turns both helpful and mischievous, and you will see why it's tied to the concept of homes and home steadying missing our protective entities that help families and they particularly help with the farm homes, to care for the livestock in a land. There's a particularly strong affinity on the part of Nyssa for horses and he'll be sure to take extra special care of horses, sometimes even braiding. Their mains entails to keep them looking their best. There also considered generally pretty lucky If MRS settles on your land, he said to attract good fortune and to drive away evil, and then this is a diminutive sprite t top sounded about three feet: that's about a meter tall and he dresses and simple farmers garb of a tunic fitted, pants and boots plus a cap on his head.
We sometimes depicted as a little bare raggedy. Usually his cap is read, but some depiction show the misery with variations in colors, although their generally Bray shades and It is almost always the color of at least one of his garments and have you given this new clothes, then this I might feel to fancy to do any work. So definitely don't do that, as I was looking for our work to go with this episode, the depictions of Nyssa reminded me nomes a little bit. They are very much there's a reason that they have been appropriated into garden sculpture because everyone wants one of these new. You have an aside. You have good fortune and tidy home, so so the face of the Nyssa is that of an elderly man with a full beard full of white hair. Although in some places like Denmark, they might have clean, shaven, chins
Where did the misery come from? That is a little unclear, although some versions of the folk lore suggest that- and this is the spirit of the enterprising farmer who originally cleared and settled the land where here lives, and then he remains on that land to protect the generations of farmers that follow and ensure that his work is. undone by people who live in cities also have attempted or a new sir, and in these cases they just hunger down under the floorboards during the warmer months and then come out as the Winter holidays approach. Yeah they come out at night. They do. Some chores had taken care of you and in exchange for all of this kind, help the family
as its own side of the bargain to hold up. It has to take care of the Nyssa and show their appreciation by leaving him a buttery bowl of porridge to eat. On occasion, and in recent times this offering has come to be a Christmas eve, tradition specifically, and you should absolutely not look for the Nyssa, because they do not like to be seen and they will turn invisible to avoid it. So also don't What, then, is that if you dont fulfil your duties with the porridge provisions or a few behave in a way that he doesn't like, including to see her more undoing the braids. That he's left in your horses, hair, you might incur his wrath and, while you might delight in the Knesset, do chores. Don't ever interrupts Emma he's carrying these duties out, because if a NASA is angered, he might bites, and there is venom in that by that- can only be tempered with a magical antidote. Yes, adorable and poisonous the vest of holiday things
You also want to make sure that you do your part in keeping an orderly home, because that is what MRS like and have you spill. Anything you have to give a yell to your knees and let him knows that he doesn't slip, see above re. Getting angry and and irritated Nyssa might hide your things or enact a bit of trickery in order to get revenge, but there are some even scarier stories of Nixon that tell tales of them, injuring livestock or, in some cases, even killing animals. If the farmer they belong to, you has acted poorly one, such instance of a Nyssa being particularly cruel. As from a legend about a servant, girl purposely trying to fool the household Nyssa. She hid the butter and his Christmas porridge down at the bottom of the Balkans, that of putting it on top,
and thinking, but he had been stiffed on his butter. The Nyssa killed the families cow, but then went ahead and ate the porridge and then realizing that he had been serve the butter just down at the bottom of the ball. You stole a cow from a neighbour to replace the one he had killed so kind of a mixed bag. Behaviour yourn. This is great, but your neighbors miss you. Dont want to be part of also kind of at sea wrongs. Don't make situation ray, and this ties into some stories ill. Occasionally, here about scandal, Pavia during Christianization and how that impacted, the nieces story, the necessary. To be viewed in some ways as negatively and started to be associated by some extremists as a servant, or an associate of the devil so welcoming in this house during. this time when they were viewed with all this suspicion was considered to be playing a very dangerous game, with the fate of your soul and endless transition in some
areas where they were viewed. This way, success started to be targeted as having some sort of sinister aspects to it, because a Nyssa must be involved in that meant that you were consorting with something that consorted, evil, and this also ties into that. Lord. We just talked about that initial might steal from one farmstead to benefit the farmer that he lived with the news that has evolved over time. It was in the middle of the nineteenth century that these sprites came to be linked to Christmas and in some areas, a different entity. Branched off of the Nyssa Legend known as the UNICEF which is closer to a Santa Claus entity. Yet there are, as there are witness over you'll see them is dumped or Tom You can see you and there are other sort of you root names in different countries, but still this idea of this nome like homes, bright persisted in Scandinavia, in an eighteen eighty, one swedish novelist Victor arrive
wrote the poem topped in which became very popular, and it also submitted the idea of Thomson or Nixon as farm spirits in modern folklore. That has also been adopted a number of times. You can find modern story, but versions of it which are really really sweet, and this also added to the LAW of Thomson and listen by characterizing. These helpful spirits is being philosophically thoughtful about the people that they watch over fears. The translation of one of the stands is so he has seen them sire and Sun year by year in that room, their sleep first as children, everyone, but whence did they come there. This generation to that was air, blossomed, grew old and was gone, but where that is the hopeless burn. riddle ever returning. This poem also establish the tempter as a nocturnal creature who watches over things while the humans rest- and it concludes with the lines now the moon in night, profound snow on the furs and pines around
snow on the roofs is gleaming all, but the goblin are dreaming coming up we're going to talk about goats and fire, but first we will take a quick break for a sponsor break. This episode has brought you buy Fedex, the easiest place to find. How would it gives for everyone on my list is online and now getting all the power it's just that I order is easier to thanks to Fedex. I don't have to About being hope to receive a package, because I can take more control over where their delivered, I simply send my fed ex packages to the nearest pickup location in my neighborhood and pick them up. It is so convenient with over thirteen thousand locations across the country. You can pick up your Fedex packages near you'd, you visit, that extra com slash holiday guide to learn more? This episode has brought you buy Fedex. Where can you pick up both ice cream, ambuscades, electric toothbrushes and electric guitar ebbs at war? Green?
That's! Because, right now you can pick up your Fedex package's right where you shop, this holiday Fedex is helping you take more control of your deliveries. Just send your packages to a Fedex, pickup location at war, means, and don't worry about being home to receive them with more than eight thousand locations across the country. You can find one convenient for you visit, Fedex darker Slash Holiday guide. To learn more today, people that are raised in the. U S probably think that you all is this a synonym for Christmas. I did for me. Long time, but originally,
You always, of course, a multi day, pagan winter sources. First of all, as Christianity spread throughout Europe, this celebration slowly transition to the nativity feast and became associated with Christmas rather than its origin point and a goat has played various roles and seasonal celebrations going back to you'll. Although the precise origins of the goats presence are unclear, there are a lot of different associations with goats and scandinavian legend, and that could be part of the origin of goats as a symbolic part of winter holidays. For example, Thor's chariot is said to have been pulled by two votes in north mythology and his father. Christmas was adopted into wind. celebrations in some scandinavian traditions. He writes a goat going back to the sixteen hundred. There was a tradition in danish farming villages for one of the young men in the area to dress as a goat during you'll, complete with a goat skull on his head and go
the door, essentially bursting into people's houses and creating sort of a fun havoc. This they generally included, throwing around some insults and gently overtime. Some furniture, maybe but the goat could be placated with beer and snacks and then say did he would move on to the next house to do some carousing there less rockets and more benevolent version of this tradition involved, the village goat, stopping by you'll parties and doling out gifts to good children, goats made out of straw or other natural materials became holiday day core overtime, sometimes with an accompanying story that the goat, with keeping an eye on things and making sure holiday preparation was being handled properly. Eventually, they became available in all sizes, from ornaments to massive centrepieces large enough to decorate town squares. Yes,
Some people still like to play the game where you hide a you'll, a small you'll go in your neighbor's house, the ideas like you're being watched and then it's your job to then pass that goes on to some one else, which is sort of fun. But speaking of that massive scale that Tracy just and that is what has made the you'll goat, his his most famous in the last half century in nineteen, sixty six, the town of jobless, Sweden erected a giant goat in its castle square and that something of the town has done every year since starting with the first Sunday of Advent, and that practice has taken on its own story in part because of an unofficial offshoot practice that some citizens of the town of adopted, of setting the goat on fire. That-
first year, the Yardley GOAT was installed on December first and at the stroke of midnight as the new year arrived, it went up in flames. The goat arsonist was identified and charged with vandalism. For a couple of years, the you'll go, went up and lasted through the entire holiday season, but on New year's eve of nineteen sixty, I'm the guy was once again set on fire, although that time the perpetrator was not identified, the goat erected in nineteen seventy only lasted six hours and you go for the nineteen. Seventy season was quickly built and put into its place in ass, a square and the rest of the nineteen seventies, we're frankly rough on the goat, according to the yeah tourism site over that decade, it imploded one year. It was smashed debates on several occasions
it was rammed with a car and suffered several unknown fates. It also burned again once in nineteen, seventy, four and again in eighteen, seventy nine when it went up in flames before it was even put up a second nineteen. Seventeen and GOAT also destroyed throughout the nineteen eightys. The goat had a similarly precarious life, even when it was saturated with fire retardants, materials arsonists still manage to burn it down, and nineteen eighty nine, the raw materials for the goat were set on fire before it was even assembled. The nineteen eighties did see the ugly you'll go, make it into the Guinness Book of World records for the largest straw, goat in the world and other development, and the nineteen Eightys was the construction of two goats each year that started in nineteen. Eighty, six
go. Tradition started in nineteen sixty six. It was originally the work of the city's tradesmen, but after the first few years of their work being destroyed, they just didn't want to do it any longer. I cannot blame them so in nineteen. Seventy one, the natural science society of Skull and took over the annual building of the goat, but then in nineteen, eighty, six, the tradesmen of yellow once again started constructing giant you'll, goats and, at that point, as a rivalry between the two go building groups began and ninety ninety two, both of the goats or set on fire eight days after they were set up, the tradesmen's go, was rebuilt only to be burned again. The same arsonist was found to have set all three fires and was arrested. Another interesting things started happening in the ninety nine these and that's that some of the citizens of Europe started setting up guard details or the Gates
to try to deter these would be arsonists and prank stirs. The two thousand and twenty teens have seen a mixed bag of fires and survival for the you will vote in two thousand. I have the you'll go was besieged by flaming heroes, which were shot by attackers that were dressed as gingerbread men and Father Christmas in twenty ten would be kidnappers trying to bribe them. who was guarding the you will vote into looking the other-
while they attempted to airlift it with a helicopter that guard could not be bought. Thankfully, in twenty fifty the goat actually went on a little trip. I travelled to China, where he was visited by more than four hundred thousand people during his time on display their the Avonlea you'll. Goat has become something of a celebrity and now has a webcam which has been hacked by saboteurs at least once it also has a twitter presents an instagram account and a dedicated spokesperson say can keep tabs on how he's doing while it is a constant battle to keep this giant goat safe. It's also become a significant tourist dry. Economic driver for yeah, plus, though it's unlikely that they will end this tradition anytime soon. Yes, I have seen multiple things online, like in discussion or comments on articles or who like. Why did they give doing those its use expensive, em, like a payment, the neck, because it gets Bert so often and its link? If you look it yeah villas, mainly
city website, a lot of it, is about tourism related to the goat, so I don't think they want to give them up. Also, it's beautiful and the goat has gotten bigger and bigger over the years. His height at this point is thirteen meter sets about forty two point: six feet. We ways three point, six and it takes an estimated one thousand Ma Am hours and the entire truckload a straw, to build the goat with the straw affixed to a metal frame base and twenty seventeen and twenty eight the goat made it all the way through the holiday season intact. Here's to hoping in twenty nineteen. This will also be true. Hopefully, as of when this episode comes out, the goat has not already been set up and burn down. I'm not sure what the schedule is right. Hope not because, as we said, there's there are our webcams and people protecting them. Now, it's a very workable years, but you never know
a gingerbread man with a flaming arrow might show up, there's also one story of an american tourists who set him on fire ones, which is embarrassing and horrifying We are giving us which way from european traditions and kind of make our way to the next set of holiday characters in another part of the world, but before we do that, we're gonna pause forward from one of the sponsors thinking stuff you missed in history class, going this episode of stuff, you miss in history class is brought to you by crate barrel. Have you ever had that moment where you open a gift, and you are completely stunned at how perfectly the person who gave it to you, has sought your inner thoughts and found exactly what will make you smile? and improve your life Creighton Barrel wants to happen all the time with everyone who receives a gift from you. They want you to play matchmaker with your gifts. You can find that perfect design. That becomes absolutely great when you give it to the right person so dont
Give random gifts that you buy quickly and in a hurry, be a little bit thoughtful and make matches for the perfect, perfect gift experience. If you have a fabulous hosted in your life, there is a fabulous platter that Creighton Barrel is ready for if you know someone else that just loves to entertain, maybe they throw a great cocktail party glasses for that are ready for you. There is even a set of spoons perfectly crafted for your next dinner date, so maybe something for somebody special in your life match them up with the right person, and you ve done something truly gifted. These gifts were designed with you in yours and mine, so fine, the ones that were made for each other Creighton barrel. We are moving now to a slightly later point on the EU the calendar and across the globe to Japan and we're gonna talk about the seven lucky governs that are associated with the new year. These sheets.
Good Jean are a mix of deities and one historical figure who travel together in a treasure ship from Heaven into the human world and offer good fortune for the new year and according to tradition, you should place a picture of these seven lucky God. Under your pillow on New year's eve to ensure that they bring you good fortune in the year ahead. The first mention of these deities and their grouping of seven together. As then fourteen twenty, when a procession of the seven lucky gods was staged. The first two gods of this group that became popular were you, be sue and die cocoa, and that's because the two of them are linked to business prosperity since merchants are believed to have been the first to adopt the seven lucky gods that makes sense from there. The other gods were adopted by other groups of people who wanted some representation of luck that correlated to their work. According to one legend, these gods were selected at the behest of the show gun emits you took a gown
in the sixteen hundreds to correlate to the seven godlike virtues there were laid out by the buddhist priest. Ten gay those virtues were fortune, longevity, honesty, amiability, popularity, fortune and dignity. A bijou is tied to the fishing and food industries, as well as the virtue of honesty. Ill often see, images are sculptures of him. Holding a fishing rod in his right hand and efficient has left others. Sometimes it's also a fan. He's accessories form a contrast against his clothing, which is usually representatives brocaded court, where Wildest things he's holding her more rustic if he said it is unique and that he is the only member of the seven lucky gods that is native to Japan, originating in the shinto religion. All of the others came from India's Hindu belief system or China's Dallas Buddhist traditions. The abuse Yuuko Festival is,
every November, the named for this dignity and in the modern era. It's an event where merchants pray for prosperity and good dealings, one origin story for the festival, their suggests that it was intended as a time when merchants sold their wares discounted prices as a way to appease the God of fair deals for their profitable transactions throughout the rest of the year that goddamn or die cocoa has roots in India's belief system and produced in Japan and the ninth century there go. Coup is based on Behalf Karla Manifestation of Shiva and in the japanese pantheon, he's gotta prosperity and wealth, and he represents the virtue of fortune and is normally depicted standing on a bail or sometimes to bales of rice holding a magic mallet which can produce money when it strikes an object, and he sometimes also carries a bank that is
with money as well- and I go coup is sometimes named as Obese, whose father, although there is no consensus on the matter of abysses parentage. Other people believe that he came from a different set of circumstances, be shall mountain appears in armour, which often leads to him being described as the God of warriors, but really he's just offending against evil in darkness, not a representative of war or aggression, his virtue with dignity and usually depicted as carrying some sort of a weapon, normally a spear or a sword, as well as the pagoda representing faith, is sometimes pose. The top two vanquished demons. our mountain hails from India and has also revered by doctors, police and soldiers fucker. Could you is a chinese scholar and as the God of happiness and wealth and the virtue that he represents? Is longevity forgot? How could you originated in the taoist Buddhist tradition is said to be able to revive the dead. That is
power that only he has among the seven lucky gods and true to his scholarly ways. He keeps a scroll tied to his walking, stick and these are short man, but he has a large head he's, often accompanied by a sacred creature. That also represents longevity, such as a tortoise, a snake stork or a white dear zero Jean have the visage of an old man which airlines with the wisdom, that's his virtue and which he bestows on those who prey to him he's sometimes confused with rokuro Kubi juice and both of them are depicted as elderly and being accompanied by dear, but for curl cutters. Dear companion, his white and draw genes can companion his black, indicating that older and wiser Georgina also has a little vice and that he loves to drink and hill bestow. Some of his way
damn on people who offer him wine. I like that aspect of him charming up. There is only one woman among the seven lucky gods and she is bent in goddess of art and knowledge she's associated with the virtue of Amy ability. in modern writings. You will often see her virtue listed as joy, Benton, where's flowing robes and plays an instrument, usually a flute or the loot like beware and bent and can be jealous, but she has also come
Passionate musicians in particular have historically been very devoted to Benton, with stories of some refusing to Mary so that she will not become jealous and take away their talent. Hotel is the only one of the seven lucky gods that said to be based on an actual person and that's the chinese monk boot I this is the rounded smiling Buddha that you ve, probably seen depicted in any number of places. The jolly character who represents popularity and magnanimity he's got about happiness in abundance. He carries a bag of fortune which is set to contain all the things that are needed by man. One of the lessons of his that abundance comes from simply being happy with what you have
and we mentioned at the beginning of this section- that if you want the seven lucky gods to grace you, you should put their picture under your pillow, but that is not the end of it. The first week of the new year there is a tradition where families travel to the temples of each of the day at ease, that's a practice that dates back to the editor period and it becomes something of a pilgrimage as the shrine for each of the seven lucky. Gods has to be visited to ensure that all kinds of luck is yours in the new year. So here is to hoping that all of our listeners have beautiful holidays, no matter what your celebrating and the twenty twenty comes with some good fortune for all of us. Yes, I hope I hope for listener mail. I have nothing to do with love.
ok, I live, but instead a fun story about traffic lights. This comes from our listener: Father, Daniel rewrites, hello, Holly and Tracy. I have enjoyed your pod cast for a few years now, and a couple of recent episodes touched indirectly on some New York state history, which I think you might find interesting. There's a traffic light in Syracuse New York on Tipperary Hill, which is up side down with the green on top and the red on bottom, and I put Sit down and quotes because, historically, the irish locals had seen the regular arrangement of the signal red above Green as a statement about the supremacy of England, Red for Ireland Green since its installation and nineteen twenty five. The signal regularly. Vandalized rocks were thrown at it to bust the lights and while he was, continually repaired, they needed a more permanent solution. Apparently, local aldermen named John Hug. Orion was the one who suggested putting the green on top and the red on the bottom, which resulted in nineteen twenty eight in the arrangement of the only upside right traffic. Light signal in the world
color blind people. There is a sign warning that the light is inverted, but unfortunately, in order to understand the sign, you would also have to not be colorblind warps and to commemorate this history of vandalism and civil disobedience. There is a charming bronze statue at the intersection of an older man teaching a few young boys to throw rocks at the light as a fascinating story is it. Secondly, I would like to thank you for the episode about the black socks scandal to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary, not so much of the scandal but of honest eddies honesty, honest any Murphy's, hometown of Hancock New York placed a bronze statue of him in the town square the week before last and his grandson, Ed and other family were present. For this dedication. I've attached a photo of the front page of the Hancock here
which covered the event. I've already know. Thank you so much for those two tidbits, I M afraid I M kind of bemused by the idea of busting a traffic light as something to be commemorated with a statue, but you know every historical moment has its has its place in the bigger story. So thank you so much for writing us. If you would like to do that, you can do so at our email which history podcast at Iheart radioed our calm again, that is a new we used to be at a different address, a switch it over to the new. Therefore, in your address book- and you can also find us everywhere and so media about remains the same at missed in history. That is also our website missed in history, dot com. You can check this out as subscribers we love subscribers. You could do that on the Iheart radio, app apple podcast or wherever it is. You listen, stuffy miss than history glasses, a production of Iheart radios
stuff works, for my part, have for my heart radio visit thy heart, Radiohead, Appleton guests or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. This episode is brought to you by Fedex the easiest place find how would I guess for everyone on my list is online and now getting older. It's just that I order is easier to thanks to Fedex. I don't have to About being hope to receive a package, because I can take more control over where their delivered, I simply send my Fedex packages to the nearest pickup location in my neighborhood and pick them up. It is so convenient with over thirteen thousand locations across the country. You can pick up your Fedex packages near you'd, You visit that extra com, Slash holiday, Guide, to learn more.