Krampus: The Demon of Christmas

By Katrina the Good

Krampus: The Demon of Christmas

In a time when humanity was young and the terrain of Central Europe was full of danger; a seasonal demon stalked the naughty children on behalf of Saint Nicolas himself. His name is Krampus and it is said that he is half goat and half demon being with a lore that is as mysterious as his appearance. 

Krampus is most recognized throughout Austria, Bavaria, Czech Republic, and Hungary. It is believed that the Krampus figure has been in the conscious mind of man since before the existence of Christianity; though the exact origins are not known.

What is known is that Krampus travels with Saint Nicolas from house to house all around the country side on December 5. While Saint Nicolas brings sweets and toys to well-mannered children; Krampus bring birch limbs to beat those children whom have been bad all year. If the child is extra naughty, Krampus will stuff his victim into his sack to be taken away to his lair. While at Krampus’ lair the child will either be tortured or maybe even eaten.

 

Over the centuries and even in recent times figure heads attempted to suppress the belief and celebration of Krampus without success. Even the ultimate power of The Church and Royalty of the day was no match for Krampus’ presence and power. Today, a festive parade:  Perchtenlauf or Klaubauf has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Usually young men dress up as mythical creatures and donning wooden masks, as they walk and frolic through the city streets. This was inspired by ancient pagan traditions and the belief is that it confuses and rids the area of malicious winter spirits. Krampus’ celebrations have become more popular past the borders of Central Europe; now for the first time in Orlando, Florida in 2015.

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