MITOLOGIA GRECA

Callicantzari

Questo termine creato dalle moderne superstizioni greche, definisce due razze di creature fantastiche: l’una grottesca e di dimensioni gigantesche, l’altra formata da esseri più piccoli, simili a folletti.

I membri della razza più grande potevano avere la statura di un uomo o superare quella di due case l’una sull’altra, ma i loro tratti erano sempre orribilmente distorti, talvolta con caratteristiche da capra. La razza più piccola e meno comune era composta da folletti, i cui tiri mancini erano maliziosi ma non crudeli. Cavalcavano animali non meno grotteschi e deformi di loro.

I callicantzari più grandi vivevano sottoterra, dove passavano il tempo a cerca di abbattere l’enorme albero che sosteneva il mondo.

Ogni tanto arrivavano vicini a completare l’opera, ma nei dodici giorni di festività natalizia erano liberi di vagare in superficie e quando ritornavano sottoterra l’albero era cresciuto e aveva riacquistato le dimensioni originarie.

Durante i dodici giorni di libertà potevano comparire soltanto di notte e seminavano il panico ovunque andassero. Distruggevano le case, rapivano le donne e costringevano i viaggiatori a danzare con loro finchè non cadevano a terra stremati. Di tanto in tanto arrivavano persino a divorare gli umani ma spesso venivano superati in astuzia e chi riusciva a tenerli a bada fino al canto del gallo li vedeva svanire.

Inoltre, poiché queste creature temevano il fuoco.

Gli abitanti dei villaggi tenevano sempre acceso il camino nei dodici giorni cruciali evitando così che le creature si avvicinassero.


Sull’isola di Chios è diffusa la credenza secondo cui i bambini nati nei dodici giorni del Natale abbiano più probabilità di trasformarsi in callicantzari e per scongiurare questo pericolo devono essere marchiati sui talloni.

L’associazione di queste creature con il centauro della mitologia classica è oscura, ma ha a che fare con l’abilità del centauro nelle pratiche della stregoneria.

GINA D’ERRICO

348 pensiero su “CALLICANTZARI ( KALLIKANTZAROS)”
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