Saturday, 29 August 2009

Happy Hogswatch

Tired of celebrating the traditional Christmas? Then why not celebrate Hogswatch this year?

Hogswatch is the creation of comic fantasy author Terry Pratchett and is the fictional Discworld's version of our Christmas. An important figure for the inhabitants at this time of year is the Hogfather, who is also central to the novel Hogfather (funnily enough).

On the Discworld, Hogswatchday falls on the first of Ick, and is the winter solstice from the perspective of the city-dwellers of Ankh-Morpork.
The 32nd of December, or the day before the New Year, is known as Hogswatchnight. The name is a pun on "hogwash", Hogmanay and Watch Night, and possibly on the ancient holiday of Samhain which was traditionally associated with pig-killing, to ensure that there was enough food for the rest of the winter.

Many Hogswatch traditions are parodies of those associated with Christmas, including a decorated oak tree in a pot, strings of paper sausages, and, of course, a visit by the Hogfather. He grants children's wishes and brings them presents.

If you feel like celebrating Hogswatch this year, you can get hold of your Hogswatch cards (and Hogswatch prints that would make excellent gifts) here through Discworld artist Paul Kidby's website.

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