Krampus is coming to give you what you deserve, bad little boys and girls!
Many people all across Europe celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6 each year, as do some people in Canada who have roots in Europe. St. Nicholas comes during the night and leaves presents for good girls and boys. (Look for tomorrow’s post more more information on St. Nicholas.)
In some places, tradition holds that St. Nicholas had a helper– or at least a counterpart, who visited the bad children. Krampus.
In Germany, Austria and other Alpine countries, Krampus became a part of the St. Nicholas story. Half goat, half demon, Krampus is a nightmarish figure who comes for those overlooked by St. Nicholas, who has gifts for the good (or in some cases, the intelligent!). At best Krampus might deliver coal or twigs. But children fear far worse, that Krampus will punish them, torture them, even kidnap them and carry them away to his lair– or to Hell!
Krampusnacht is is observed in many places on December 5, with parades and other celebrations, including the Krampuslauf, or Krampus Run, in which young people dress up like Krampus.
Find out more:
- Mental Floss
- Krampus (Wikipedia)
- TitlePeek: Krampus by Virginia Loh-Hagan
- National Geographic: Krampus