Happy Krampus Day

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Krampus at Perchtenlauf Klagenfurt

Image via Wikipedia

Fewer Christmas traditions are stranger than that of Krampus. Krampus, as you may or may not be aware, is St. Nicholas's sinister (and lesser-known) demonic sidekick. If old St. Nick is the good cop who rewards well-behaved children with gifts of toys, then Krampus is the bad cop by far: he punishes naughty children by beating them with birch switches (and by terrifying them with his demonic visage). The tradition likely has its origins in the old trope of saints vanquishing demons through the power of God and forcing them into their thrall.

While most Americans remain unfamiliar with Krampus (despite his frequent examination on blogs such as this one), he is widely celebrated in Austria, Hungary, and the alpine regions of Europe. According to Wikipedia, young men in those parts will traditionally "dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells." So grab your mask, hit the streets, and get in the Krampus spirit! Just be prepared for some weird looks, if you're outside Europe.
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This page contains a single entry by Richard published on December 5, 2010 7:58 PM.

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"Dark Jupiter" may haunt the edge of the solar system is the next entry in this blog.