Hauskaa Pikku Joulu!

One interesting theory about the origins of Joulupukki and his flying reindeer, comes from the aboriginal Sami people of Lapland. In the forests there is a common poisonous mushroom, Amanita muscaria that is red with white dots. The shamans of Sami used to feed this mushroom to the reindeer, whereby the intestinal tract of the reindeer would filter out the poison, but leave the intoxicating substances. The urine of the reindeer would then be collected, and used as a hallucinogenic by the shamans. The shamans would often have out-of-the-body experiences and fly in the sky, returning through the chimney hole of their tent or cottage to their bodies. This shamanistic tradition would nicely explain the flying reindeer, the use of chimneys, and even the red-white colouring of Joulupukki.

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