Six Characters in Search of a Blogger


6.2 Hey, Kids, Seriously–You’d Better Watch Out: Krampus (Austria)
December 17, 2008, 10:26 am
Filed under: Santa and His Posse | Tags: , , , , ,

 

Krampus

The stuff of nightmares: Krampus

So in Austria, Santa’s (Heileger Nikolaus’s) gift-giving companion is…the devil.

I’m serious.

On the Feast of St. Nicholas (Dec. 6), Saint Nick and the devil (a goat-horned creature named Krampus), visit children to ask for lists of their good and bad deeds.  The nice ones get treats like toys and candy;  and the naughty ones get a whoopin’ with a tree branch from Krampus.

In the Austrian ski town of Schladming, there is a festival celebrating Krampus, where young men dress in elaborate goat demon costumes and roam about the town, getting drunk, ringing bells to warn of their approach, and hitting people with switches.  As one website suggests, “It is not considered wise for young women to go out on this night, as they are popular targets.”

Ah, yes.  Nothing says Christmas like a satanic bacchanal.

In this Austrian postcard from the early 1900s, St. Nick looks on as Krampus harrasses a young woman.  Nice.

In this Austrian postcard from the early 1900s, St. Nick looks on as Krampus harrasses a young woman. Nice.

 

(And for even more frightening photos of Krampus, click here and here.  Think Christmas meets Mordor.)

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1 Comment so far
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you can talk about smerfs for Easter – maybe as sweet

Comment by Julie




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