Folkloristic spanking traditions

Ceremonial whipping of a boy in Sparta.

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:

Middle Ages and modern timesEdit

Examples from the Middle Ages and later centuries:

Folkloristic spanking figuresEdit

Knecht Ruprecht with his birch approaches a child (1852).

These figures appear in literature, songs, plays, but also enacted by adult men where children think they are real.

See alsoEdit