Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday that is unrelated to Christmas. Nevertheless, its founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga, a University of California at Los Angeles professor from Nigeria, placed the seven-day holiday between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Knocking Nights

In past times, German folk beliefs alleged that evil spirits and witches accomplished many acts of mischief on Thursday nights during Advent. This belief may have faded, but the German Knocking Nights remain.

Knecht Ruprecht

According to old European folklore, a variety of frightening figures lurk in the long, dark nights of the CHRISTMAS SEASON. They range from the ghostly personnel of the WILD HUNT to mysterious wanderers such as Berchta and FRAU GAUDE.

Kissing Bough

During the nineteenth century a kissing bough hung from the doorway, ceiling, or chandelier of many English homes at Christmas time. Families fashioned this homemade decoration by winding Christmas GREENERY around a circular wire frame.

King of the Bean

A long succession of mock kings have ruled over winter holiday merrymaking in EUROPE. In ancient times they presided over feasts held in honor of the Roman festival of SATURNALIA (see also ZAG-MUK).


According to traditional Greek folklore, the kallikantzaroi rampaged across GREECE during the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.

Kalends (Calends)

Kalends, the Roman new year festival, began on January 1 and lasted until January 5. The Romans celebrated Kalends in much the same way they did Saturnalia.