Nfld. & Labrador

Happy Nalujuk Night! A night of fear and candy

People in Labrador celebrate Nalujuk Night on Old Christmas Day

People in Labrador celebrate Nalujuk Night on Old Christmas Day

Nalujuk Night looks scary but it's all in good fun. This 2016 picture is from Jennie Williams' series Nalujuk Night. (Submitted by Jennie Williams )

It's Old Christmas Day, but on the north coast of Labrador parents and children are gearing up for a different sort of celebration. 

Every year on Jan. 6 Inuit families celebrate Nalujuk Night when spirits, or Nalujuks, arrive in their communities to reward the good and punish the bad.

The Nalujuks are masked individuals dressed up in terrifying fashion, wearing furs and sealskin boots, and often carrying a stick.

Children spend the night running from the Nalujuks, and if they're caught they have to sing to get away.  

'Everything goes wild'

It might sound scary, but those who take part say it's all in good fun. 

Gordon Obed lives in Nain and has many memories celebrating the tradition at the community hall. 

"The Nalujuks give out goodies to the children, and after that everything goes wild," he said. 

Obed said his children and grandchildren look forward to a visit from the Nalujuks every year.

I'm almost too old to hide now, but we look forward to it.- Gordon Obed

"My mom used to have her birthday on Nalujuk Night and guaranteed they all knew it was her birthday," he said. "Ever since I was a boy they used to all come in and say, 'Happy birthday,' to her and make her scared." 

Since his mother passed on, Obed said the Nalujuks now look for him instead. 

"I'm almost too old to hide now, but we look forward to it," he said. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Labrador Morning

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