Have you heard of the word, 'Julemanden'? there is no need to ponder over the word, it's the Danish version of Christmas father. The character whose origin dated back to Danish mythological tales and folklore, Julemanden was a Christmas father-like character that brings joy to the households by brining gifts to the children. It's not that Julemanden is exactly like Father Christmas; there are differences like he lives in Greenland, loves rice pudding. Danish version of Christmas father has also traces of 'Nisse' that are Danish version of elves. Besides this, they are also strongly influenced by the American Santa clause. Thus formed by the adaptation of various characters, Julemanden has however taken over the job of Father Christmas, bringing gifts to children and bringing joy to the households. There are plenty of myths and folklores associated with Julemanden in Denmark. Read further to know more about Julemanden and the myths associated with it.
Danish Father Christmas
You can directly translate 'Julemanden' to 'The Christmas-man' or 'The Yule-Man'. The origin of the character can be dated back to Danish mythology and folklore where you find a mythological character named Julemanden who brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve. However, Julemanden is all the more equivalent to Father Christmas with the only differences being Julemanden lives in Greenland, love rice pudding with cinnamon sugar with a butter slice on the top and is often assisted by 'Nisse' which is the Danish version of elves. Good children in Denmark get a gift from Julemanden. In Danish, the word 'Jul' or 'Yule' means Christmas and 'Julemanden' means 'the Christmas man'.
It was only after World War II that the phenomenon Julemanden became popular in Denmark. Till then, there was a character which resembled the modern Julemanden such as 'Nissefar', 'Nissekongen' or 'Julenissen' whose origin is traced back to centuries when people believed in 'Nisser'. These are elves, spirits or mystical entities which are moody creatures and they either bring disasters or good fortunes. They are supposed to bring good fortunes to the family, but they have to be treated well and must be fed with rice porridge. If they are satisfied, they bring good fortunes to the family. Now, these 'Nisse' is overtaken by Julemanden.
The Strong American Impact
To know how the Nisse became 'Nissekongen', you need analyse the impact on American culture on Denmark. The Father Christmas in Denmark have drawn influences from American Santa though not the exact copy. They have made him tweaking the local traditions which resulted in a 'Father' character with some traces from 'Nisse'. The 'Julenisse' is still celebrated in Denmark who acts a stand-in for Julemanden. He entertains the children by bringing them small gifts and playing tricks on kindergarten and households. Julemanden visit the households during Christmas in Denmark in red white hair and beard, playing the band for the crowd and singing Christmas songs for the crowd.
Julemanden In Denmark
It is said in Denmark, Julemanden visits the households and adds his own garland of Danish flags to the little fir tree which would already be decorated with candles, stars and hearts. The Julemanden would have cookies in his pockets and gifts such as ice skates, fairy tale books, chimney sweep doll, stars and hearts.
Julemanden has interesting myths and folklores attached to it. Hope this article familiarised you with some of them.
Julemanden is the Danish version of the Father Christmas. Read on to know more about the legends and myths associated with it.