Why not put the Krampus back in Christmas

For those who do not know, in central European tradition, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus is our variation of this figure), is accompanied each Christmas eve by Krampus, a demonic cloven hoofed monster that takes, naughty children and eats, swats or drowns them.  Though there are many different variations in his appearance he tends to look something like this:

File:Krampus at Perchtenlauf Klagenfurt.jpg


It is likely that Krampus dates to pre-Christian Pagan traditions, but some argue that the fact that he is often depicted with chains may be have been added to the mythology by Christians as a symbol of bondage to Satan.  As such he is an interesting holdout, of the Pagan traditions that became co-opted into Christmas.  Additionally, Europeans have been exchanges greetings cards with featuring Krampus since the 1880s and there is a tradition known as Krampuslauf, in which individuals dressed at the beast parade through the streets each year.  An example can be seen here:

While, I believe it to be highly immoral to use threats of monsters like Krampus to frighten children, I do find Krampus to be a fascinating character, especially in regard to his relationship with St. Nicholas and I think it would be awesome to see something like this in some American cities.


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One Response to Why not put the Krampus back in Christmas

  1. I’ll never look at Christmas the same. Between Krampus, Zwarte Piet and the Caga Tio…Xmas could be a lot more interesting.

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