Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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HOLY INNOCENTS' DAY
often a harsh appearance, or has become a kind of teasing, ;is when in Bohemia at Easter young men whip girls until they give them something. Its original purpose, however, as we have seen in connection with St. Martin's rod, seems to have been altogether kindly. The whipping was not meant as a punish­ment or expiation or to harden people to pain, but either to expel harmful influences and drive out evil spirits or to convev by contact the virtues of some sacred tree.
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