Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ondol Heating and Santa Claus

Ondol is warm water radiant floor heating (a recent innovation on This Old House) that has been warming Korean homes for centuries. Since it is the primary mode for winter-time climate control, fireplaces and chimneys are notably absent from the Korean landscape.

So, I asked my coworkers today, how does Santa get in to leave the presents under the tree? Of course, first I had to make sure that Santa was part of Christmas in Korea, which he is. Small children here, as in much of the world, believe that the Jolly Old Fellow flies on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, delivering gifts to good little girls and boys. They ask their parents to tell him what they want for Christmas, rather than visiting him in the mall and sitting on his lap.

The answer seems to be, Through the door. At least he won't get stuck!

In related news, Koreans are not visited by the Tooth Fairy. Instead, children who lose a baby tooth take it outside and *throw it over the roof of the house*. A sparrow is supposed to come along and catch the tooth in its beak, then carry it away. However, it doesn't leave any money behind.


Tanner Brown said...

Great stuff! So you throw the tooth toward the roof of your mouth and then Santa comes in the front door and catches it? Cool, got it!

Unsinkable Marge said...

And the Easter Bunny?