Do you know about Krampus?

So this year I was introduced to a little known Christmas character – the Krampus! One of the roomates is in a German study group, and they were handing out these little cards on December 5th (otherwise known as Krampusnaucht).

377px-Gruss_vom_Krampus

(Image via the Wikimedia Commons)

It would seem that in some Nordic, Scandinavian, and Alpine countries, the legend of Saint Nicholas has a counterpart – Krampus. He is the punative side of Christmas for all the naughty little children. While Saint Nick brings gifts to the good boys & girls, Krampus brings a whip (or stick) to spank them, and also chains and a basket to haul to worst ones back to his cave to be his Christmas dinner.

I am utterly amused!

This is such a classic example of modern society taking only the happy sunny parts of the old-world fairy tales and folk tales, and conveniently leaving behind the truly frightening parts!

A little googling later, it seems that in some Nordic countries still celebrate Krampus Night (Krampusnacht) with a parade of people dressed as Krampus. As people bring their kids! Well, if this doesn’t scare you kids straight, I dont know what will!

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