PHOTOS, VIDEO: Storytellers Return for the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
One of the traditions of the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is the Storytellers found around World Showcase. Each Storyteller highlights winter holiday traditions and lore from their corresponding country. After their absence at last year’s “Taste of” version of the festival, the festive entertainers have returned.
Norway featuring A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa
In the Norway Pavilion, guests can find the “Mischievous Magical Barn Santa” and Sigrid onstage outside the Royal Sommerhaus.
Sigrid sings a traditional Norway Christmas carol while Santa accompanies her on the recorder.
Sigrid explains the folklore behind the nisse or “barn Santa,” although she doesn’t believe they exist.
As she attempts to explain other traditions, the barn Santa causes mischief and interacts with the audience.
Watch the full performance of Sigrid and the barn Santa below.
China featuring Chinese Lion Dance
A narrator at the China Pavilion introduces the Chinese Lion, which is operated by two dancers.
The narrator explains that the lion is said to drive away evil and bring good fortune as the dance begins.
Throughout, the narrator explains other elements of the dance, such as when the lion is eating or when it takes a “cat nap.”
Watch the full dance below.
Italy featuring La Befana
La Befana appears on the stage in the center of the Italy Pavilion.
She explains that she’s a good witch and her name means gift-giver. She brings gifts to Italian children, much like Santa Claus does in other countries.
La Befana visits children on January 5, Epiphany Eve, instead of December 24.
Watch La Befana tell her story below.
Japan featuring Daruma Storyteller
In the Japan Pavilion, the storyteller talks about Japanese new year traditions.
She mainly focuses on the Daruma, a good luck doll.
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Using her bell and folding fan, she tells the story of the Daruma and new year in Japan.