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Pictures | Mon Dec 9, 2019 | 7:05pm GMT

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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"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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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