Friday, March 19, 2010
Krampus is part of Austrian and Hungarian folklore and is associated with Christams. His name, taken from the Germanic Krampen means claw. Krampus looks like and acts like the devil. He is a demon that travels with Saint Nickolas on Christmas Eve and while Santa delivers candies and treats to the good little children, Krampus delivers corporal punishment and horror to the bad little children. He provides a little extra incentive for the children to be good. Apparently in Austria, not getting presents wasn't enough to motivate children. Satan himself had to beat the children with willow branches and carry them off to hell.
Krampus became so popular that his story and legends spread throughout Europe and became especially popular in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and northern Italy. He became so popular that he earned his own holiday. Dec 5 is Krampus day. It is almost like Devil's Night in Detroit without the fire. On Krampus day, young men take to the streets dressed in their most fearful Krampus costumes. They roam the streets scaring children with loud rusty bells and chains. They chase down young girls and hit them with birch branches.