Krampus is a popular traditional pagan ritual that is famous for rewarding good kids while punishing the naughty ones. The good kids are rewarded with candy while the bad ones are beaten with branches, and others are believed to be dragged to hell or eaten. During this time, the devil that punishes the misbehaved kids is called Krampus, while the saint who rewards the good kids is called St. Nicholas.
He is a half-demon and half-goat creature and is one of the century-old rituals. Krampus has a devilish figure consisting of dark hair, horns, a long tongue, fangs, and a beard and is believed to be the son of Hel from Norse Mythology. Although the Catholics have tried hard to eradicate the celebration, Krampus has stood to be a much-feared and iconic holiday celebration.
However, the celebration has transitioned from the initial instilling of fear and correcting the behavior of bad kids to one of the contemporary forms of holidays. Nowadays, people enjoy good food, drinks, and dress in Krampus costumes to enjoy every moment of the celebration.
The name Krampus is derived from a German word, Krampen, meaning claw. Therefore, Krampus origin is believed to be from Germany and is a ritual for the winter solstice. Krampus dates back to the 12th century and was a German Christmas tradition. During this time, children would hear whispers from the devilish creature, Krampus, carrying birch sticks for the misbehaved kids.
Both Krampus and St. Nicholas arrive on the 5th December evening with branches and rewards, respectively. The celebration goes through the night while some countries extend it to 6th December. During the morning, the naughty children wake up to nurse their injuries while the good ones unleash their gifts.
As stated earlier, Krampus has undergone profound changes in how people celebrate the occasion. Nowadays, people mimic Krampus in the Krampus parade, and Krampus run. Men dressed in Krampus costumes fill the streets and race one another.
They dress in terrifying masks that mimic the visual appearance of Krampus. In addition, clothes are made using goat or sheepskin to ensure an utmost resemblance to Krampus. Ladies are also not left out as they rock the celebration with ugly masks and long gothic outfits. During the celebration, the people dressed in Krampus outfits carry cowbells, scare and chase even the spectators.
There are also other activities in the celebration, such as people performing acrobatics. You should also expect chasing and whipping during the celebration.
Krampus is recognized in several countries such as Austria, Slovenia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The celebration is also gaining recognition in the United States and other parts of Europe.
Krampus celebrations have become prominent and led to comic book series and even the production of movies. During this time, numerous clubs spend a lot of time preparing costumes, plans, and party plans for the big occasion. There are also numerous view spots but be sure that you can be in for an unexpected race despite being a spectator.
Currently, there are only 11 countries that celebrate the holiday Krampus.