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).
(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!