Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Happy Krampus Day!
Last year, I was thrilled to discover Krampus Day. I wasn't thrilled enough to celebrate this holiday, but I loved learning about it Now, Krampus Dy seems to be a day I'll remember for a long time to come. In fact, I am reposting this blog from last year just to celebrate Krampus Day. So if you think you've seen this blog post before, you have! In America, we embrace all cultures and pull their traditions into our own culture and make it our own. I believe we should do the same for Krampus Day. It is time to begin our Krampus Day Celebrations! According to Wikipedia, "Traditionally, young men 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 and women with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas the tradition also includes birching – by Krampus, especially of young girls" This year, this time frame is oddly meaningful to me as I'm due December 1st and if I don't have a baby boy by the 5th, we'll be taking him by force. As a mother of two other boys who like to chase each other with bells and other nonsense, this holiday also seems oddly appropriate this year. All I have to do is add horns and my boys will be set for Krampus day. This is very convenient because they already have horns from their various Halloween costumes from years passed. So this year, I'm celebrating Krampus day. Here's some more background information for all those that missed Krampus Day last year.
Krampus is part of Austrian and Hungarian folklore and is associated with Christmas. 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. I think it would take about this much incentive to get my boys to stop fighting on a nightly basis, so they might be on to something.
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 a prolonged Devil's Night in Detroit, without the fire. On Krampus day and the days around it, 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. I feel like this would add some spice to our Christmas preparations. Who wouldn't want to be terrified by a large devil in these days leading up to Christmas? I have to say that it would make shopping a little bit less painful and it certainly sounds like more fun than black Friday! So get out your rusty chains and bells an find your ugliest mask and take to the streets. It is almost Krampus Day.