Tag Archives: Yuletide

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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