Edition:
United States
Pictures | Mon Dec 9, 2019 | 2:05pm EST

Devils chase children in eerie Czech Christmas custom

Masked devils march through the village, rattling their chains and clanking bells, going door-to-door to search for badly-behaved children.  


REUTERS/David W Cerny

Masked devils march through the village, rattling their chains and clanking bells, going door-to-door to search for badly-behaved children. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Masked devils march through the village, rattling their chains and clanking bells, going door-to-door to search for badly-behaved children. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
1 / 17
The sinister-looking pre-Christmas tradition in the Czech village of Valasska Polanka is actually a celebration of the 4th-century Saint Nicholas, who appears in costume to soothe the children with sweets.  


REUTERS/David W Cerny

The sinister-looking pre-Christmas tradition in the Czech village of Valasska Polanka is actually a celebration of the 4th-century Saint Nicholas, who appears in costume to soothe the children with sweets. REUTERS/David W Cerny

The sinister-looking pre-Christmas tradition in the Czech village of Valasska Polanka is actually a celebration of the 4th-century Saint Nicholas, who appears in costume to soothe the children with sweets. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
2 / 17
Revellers dressed as devils are seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils are seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils are seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
3 / 17
Chased in the snow by 40 fearsome figures in sheepskin masks, the village youngsters saw it as good fun.  

 REUTERS/David W Cerny

Chased in the snow by 40 fearsome figures in sheepskin masks, the village youngsters saw it as good fun. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Chased in the snow by 40 fearsome figures in sheepskin masks, the village youngsters saw it as good fun. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
4 / 17
Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7, 2019. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7, 2019. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7, 2019. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
5 / 17
"The tradition is beautiful, we enjoy it, we run away from those devils, they chase us, it is awesome," said Vaclav Kozubik a teenager from Valasska Polanka, some 200 miles southeast of the capital Prague.  


 REUTERS/David W Cerny

"The tradition is beautiful, we enjoy it, we run away from those devils, they chase us, it is awesome," said Vaclav Kozubik a teenager from Valasska Polanka, some 200 miles southeast of the capital Prague. REUTERS/David W Cerny

"The tradition is beautiful, we enjoy it, we run away from those devils, they chase us, it is awesome," said Vaclav Kozubik a teenager from Valasska Polanka, some 200 miles southeast of the capital Prague. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
6 / 17
Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.   REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
7 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  
 REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
8 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  
 REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
9 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  
 REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
10 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
11 / 17
Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  
 REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
12 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil is seen in the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
13 / 17
Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Revellers dressed as devils walk through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
14 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  
 REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
15 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
16 / 17
A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7.  
 REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny

A reveller dressed as devil walks through the village of Valasska Polanka during a traditional Saint Nicholas parade near the town of Vsetin, Czech Republic, December 7. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Close
17 / 17

Next Slideshows

Notable deaths in 2019

Newsmakers and celebrities who have died this year.

Dec 09 2019

Miss South Africa crowned Miss Universe

Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa is crowned at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dec 09 2019

Vast crowds throng streets of Hong Kong

Hundreds of thousands of black-clad demonstrators thronged the streets of Hong Kong in the largest anti-government rally since local elections last month and a...

Dec 09 2019

Pictures of the year: Royals

Our top photos of royals from the past year.

Dec 09 2019

MORE IN PICTURES

Migrants enter Mexico under watch of security forces

Migrants enter Mexico under watch of security forces

Hundreds of Central Americans crossed the Guatemalan border into Mexico early on Thursday, testing the Mexican government's resolve to stem the movement of people north under pressure from the United States.

Coastal Canadian island abuzz over possible move there by Harry and Meghan

Coastal Canadian island abuzz over possible move there by Harry and Meghan

Images from the Saanich Peninsula, a part of Vancouver Island just north of British Columbia's capital, Victoria, an area where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie took a six-week vacation at the end of last year.

World leaders mark 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation

World leaders mark 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation

World leaders voiced alarm at resurgent anti-Semitism as they gathered at Israel's national Holocaust Memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Our top photos from the past week.

Lunar New Year celebrations

Lunar New Year celebrations

The world celebrates the Year of the Rat with lanterns, lion dances and firecrackers.

Inside Wuhan after China quarantines virus-hit city

Inside Wuhan after China quarantines virus-hit city

China put millions of people on lock down in two cities at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, as authorities around the world worked to prevent a global pandemic.

Lunar New Year travel rush

Lunar New Year travel rush

Millions of people in Asia embark on travel for Lunar New Year holidays, amid fears of a new flu-like coronavirus.

Best of the Australian Open

Best of the Australian Open

Highlights from the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne.

Jean Paul Gaultier's most memorable designs

Jean Paul Gaultier's most memorable designs

From conical bras to sailor stripes, a look at some of the French designer's most iconic creations over the years.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast