Tag Archives: Krampus

Krampus for the Holiday Season? (Part One)

3 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

You better not pout when a different kind of supernatural force comes to town this holiday season. Some revellers may well encounter the Christmas Devil–aka Krampus! This name is a derivation of the Germanic word krampen (claw) and some may say he’s as old as time. This creature has changed over the years. In the old days of Germany, before the coming of Christianity, children feared the wild and woolly horned beast. Any child known to be misbehaving was whipped with a birch stick (or a swath of) by this monster. Some were even taken away to the underworld never to be seen again. The lucky who were “released” most likely promised to mend their ways.

In later years, he was known to visit villages with Saint Nicholas on Krampus Night (Krampusnacht; Dec 5th)! The good were rewarded by his friend and the bad found sticks of birch left in their shoe (it was a tradition to leave it out on this night). These days, a chance encounter from someone cosplaying as him doesn’t always provoke the same response.

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With Big Horns and a Wail, Krampus is Coming to Town! A Movie Review

10 Dec

 

Krampus_poster

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, Michael Dougherty’s Krampus is a cautionary tale which tries to leave a mark. This writer/director wants audiences to leave with an understanding of what the holiday is about and most viewers will get it. In what may not get recognized by everyone is this film’s historical and cultural identity.

This movie started playing at theatres the night before December 6th to coincide with the established Germanic folklore of when this supernatural beast appears to reward or torment children. On the morning of the next day, kids go to look at the shoe or boot they left outdoors contains a present (to reward good behaviour) or a rod (for bad). In this old country — which includes Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic — celebrations take place to remind people of all ages to play nice year-round. Variations of this legend includes this entity leaving the good alone whilst Saint Nicholas would place sweets in the footwear.

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