Is Father Johann a real Dutch Christmas story?
Big mouth Season 5 sees the Netflix show celebrate Christmas with its first festive special. ” A very Big mouth Christmas “sees the Jansen Twins sharing a terrifying holiday tradition from their native Netherlands.
When the gang don’t believe a Dutch Christmas can be so different from an American Christmas, Lotte and Mila tell them about Father Jansen, their equivalent Santa Claus who has the body of a walrus, the razor-sharp teeth of a dolphin. and a flute made from human bones.
Of course, each country has its own Christmas stories. Germany, for example, has Krampus, the horned beast that punishes naughty children, while Catalonia has the “poo log”, a log that is fed throughout the month of December so that it defecates. gifts at Christmas.
This led Big mouth fans around the world in search of the real story behind “Vader Johann” and see if it is real.
Do the Dutch really celebrate Father Johann?
Sorry to disappoint you: The Dutch don’t really drink salted eel milk on Christmas Eve, place their painted eggs on the windowsill, hide in a children’s coffin and pray to the king mongoose to be spared by Father Johann.
This particular Christmas story appears to be a mix of two real European Christmas stories – that of Krampus and that of Belsnickel, a cranky fur-clad character who legend has it to beat children with a switch. Neither, however, has a dance with the Mongoose King until he turns to cream.
Although Father Johann is composed by the writers of Big mouth, The Netherlands has a troubling Christmas history – albeit troubling in a very different way.
The country has a Christmas character named Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”), a character who is greeted in a town with a parade on December 5th where he distributes cookies to children.
Which looks very quaint until you realize the person playing Black Pete in this runway is in blackface, usually with a black curly wig and red lipstick (as well as, for some reason, a Renaissance costume. ). This has led to the tradition of becoming the subject of much discussion and protest in the Netherlands.
Although folklore has it that Black Pete was black due to his descent into the chimneys, the first image of him showed him as a black servant of Saint Nicholas (aka Sinterklaas). US viewers may recognize the character in the episode “Dwight’s Christmas” by Office where Dwight has his assistant Nate who dresses like him.
This episode (which is absent from Peacock) also features a portrayal of Belsnickel.
While Dutch mythology may not include a walrus-dolphin creature. He has some pretty weird characters that could fit perfectly into the monsters of Big mouth. The Dutch fairy tale “Goblins Turned to Stone”, for example, features a female horse sitting on the stomachs of those sleeping after eating too much grilled cheese.
Big mouth fans also took to Google and Reddit to research whether Father Johann’s story really came from the Netherlands. A Reddit user of the show, for example, wrote: “As a German I first thought while reading” vader johan “, it might actually be a Dutch idea that I don’t have heard”” [sic]. At the same time, “Father Johann” has become one of the main search trends associated with the show on Google.
Big mouth Seasons 1-5 are now streaming on Netflix.