Folkloristic spanking traditions
Folkloristic spanking traditions are folkloristic traditions that involve elements of corporal punishment (such as spanking or whipping), either in folk tales, folk songs, enacted, or in symbolic forms such as carrying decorated willow or birch rods. When enacted, it is done in a mostly joyful, non-punitive sense (see also fun spanking).
Folkloristic spanking traditions are often found celebrated on a special day of the year as part of the traditional celebration rituals of that day. Sometimes they have a religious background, or are interpreted in a religious sense. Therefore this topic overlaps with religious spanking traditions.
The ritualistic spanking or whipping is usually thought to be a blessing, to bring good luck, health or fertility.
Examples from Antiquity:
- Birthday spanking
- Lupercalia (Ancient Rome, no longer celebrated)
- Various examples in Spartan society (Ancient Greece, no longer celebrated)
Middle Ages and modern times
Examples from the Middle Ages and later centuries:
- Beating the Bounds (Strangebritain.co.uk/traditions/bounds.html)
- Christmas and spanking
- Carnival and spanking
- Chinese spring festival whipping in Tungkang
- Easter and spanking
- Innocent's Day
- Rutenfest (regional festivities in Germany)
Folkloristic spanking figures
- Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus), see Christmas and spanking
- Knecht Ruprecht (German-speaking regions)
- Krampus (South German-speaking regions)
- Hans Trapp (Alsace)
- Monsieur and Madame Croque-Mitaine (French-speaking regions)
- Père Fouettard (French-speaking regions)
These figures appear in literature, songs, plays, but also enacted by adult men where children think they are real.