Krampus the Christmas Demon

Just one of the reasons Austria rules: in their country, bad children don’t simply receive coal in their stocking. They are freaking eaten by Krampus the Christmas demon.  From the io9 article:

The Krampus is a holiday fixture that’s popular in the Germanic countries. Created to really enforce the whole “better watch out” Christmas ideology, the Krampus is the pure evil that must exist to balance out St. Nick’s pure goodness.

Legend has it that when the Krampus discovers a bad-apple kid, he grabs the tot with his tongue, throws the kid in a sack, and takes them back to his home for dinner. My parents actually threatened my little sister and I with Krampus tales on Saint Nicholas Day. Because what’s the point of having children if you can’t destroy Christmas for them, right?

Christmas is so scary in Germanic countries it beats American Halloween.

via io9

10 Responses to Krampus the Christmas Demon

  1. The Krampus always scared me to death when I was a kid. Sometimes they are pretty scary for grown ups too :)
    They can give you a good whipping with their horse hair whips!

  2. This is slightly exaggerated. Yes, this tradition exists, but in Germany it's limited to an area comparable to Vermont. Saying this exists "in the Germanic countries" is like saying that the whole East Coast produces maple syrup.

  3. Here it is not Christmas demon. Krampus in Austria and also in Croatia (most likely in some other Slavic countries, but I'm not so familiar with their traditions) goes with St. Nicholaus. I do understand that St. Nick is same in many countries as Santa Claus but here they are separate personas. St. Nicholaus is saint that bring gifts on 6. Dec.

  4. krampus has notting to do with christmas.
    krampus and santa are coming on the 8th dec…christmas is on th 24th dec. also in "Germanic countries"

  5. It'a untrue that Christmas is scary, krampus merely exists, and children know about it, but it does not make Christmas scary. This is highly exaggerated, Christmas can not becompared to Halloween.

  6. I lived in Austria for a year and thought this tradition was awesomely fun. Men work for years creating the most hideous masks and costumes, and in Salzburg, where I was, they weren't on parade. They'd spend the afternoon getting drunk, and then around sundown don the costumes, whipping people at random as they roamed the streets. If you didn't want to take a chance, you went the other way when you heard the cowbells. Or you'd find a good hiding spot to watch from.
    In any case, St. Nicholas day was completely distinct from Christmas- in this particular country, the Christ Child brought the whole package (trees, presents, and all) on Christmas Eve, and the Krampus and St. Nicholas were long gone by then.

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