Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Krampus day

It's Krampus day!

Krampus is a mythical creature. In various regions of the world – especially Austria and Hungary – it is believed that Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children. Due to German and Austrian influence, the myth of Krampus is also prevalent in Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and northern Italy.

The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas the tradition also includesbirching – corporal punishment with a birch rod – by Krampus, especially of young girls. Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.

Modern Krampus costumes consist of Larve (wooden masks), sheep's skin, and horns. Considerable effort goes into the manufacture of the hand-crafted masks, and many younger adults in rural communities compete in the Krampus events. -wiki

I like this Krampus/Witch combo. All these babies look bad to me!

Have YOU been Naughty or Nice?


MissGracie said...

Hahaha, I wish that part of Christmas made in over to America, it sounds like they have a ton of fun with it.

Dirgesinger said...

Here in Hungary the Krampusz, as we write it, transformed from this demoniacal creature into a more friendly guy during the decades - nowadays in areas where traditions are still respected, he is a smiley-faced figure who is rather loved than feared by children. I always loved him more than Santa :P

Trees said...

This is such a great part of the Christmas myth! I wish it had made it to my part of the world - I love those old images.

I love this blog - keep up the great work.

Sara said...

I've been naughty ^^

Anonymous said...

Always enjoy your little tidbits of folklore and never heard of Krampus.... love knowing there is indeed an Anti Santa Claus, Virginia.

Kat the hat lady! said...

Wicked article, :-)

Julian Ravage said...

Great article.

Krampus is needed here in the states. Should the time come where I spawn a few children, they will know of Santa and dear Krampus...just so I can keep them in line. ;)


Rebecca Brooks said...

Thanks for this post! I love them. Did you see the x mas episode of Venture Brothers with him? It was truly hilarious.

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