Saturday, November 22, 2008

Krampus, St. Nick's Pal
























































I swear, Christmas stuff gets put out at stores earlier every year. There were Christmas candies on the top shelf above the Halloween candies at Walgreens. Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, and there's holiday music, commercials, and decorations up everywhere you turn. So, I thought I'd counter this with a bit of early holiday cheer myself, with a piece about the European pal of good ol' St. Nicholas, known as Krampus.




























Krampus is basically a devil of sorts. His name is derived from old High German krampen, which means 'claw'. He is related to the Perchten, followers of Perchta, an old goddess.He is depicted as your basic devil with horns and fur, but his images range from a little imp to a big-ass demon. He is by turns mischevious and imposing. He is said to follow his buddy St. Nicholas around in December, usually on December 5th in the evening, and while Nick gives the good kids presents, Krampus may give them a bundle of sticks, or spank them with the sticks, or even carry them off to some other fate, depending on who you talk to. There are lots of old postcards showing Krampus doing acts that range from prankish to downright demonic.







In Austria,during December, groups of men dressed as Krampus/Perchten walk around town, giving spankings to people, especially pretty women. I don't know about you, but dressing up as a horned beast and spanking women sounds like a lot more fun than caroling and drinking egg nog...the Europeans definately have better holiday traditions than us, let me tell you.





I found the whole Krampus thing interesting and a bit funny. Here's a saint and a devil, running around during the holidays, like some weird buddy-cop movie or something. Anyway, enjoy the pictures, and I'll have more later.











13 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

We need to bring back Krampus.

Scott said...

Charles, I agree...Bringin' back Krampus in 2008!

Shauna Roberts said...

I had never heard of this tradition. Very interesting.

Scott said...

Shauna, I had seen the old Krampus postcards yaers ago, but only recently have I looked deeper into the whole tradition. It is kind of wild, a saint and a devil as partners...something you would probabaly never see here in the States, where they won't even let kids dress up for Halloween in some schools because it's "Satanic".

Misanthropic Anthropoid said...

ive been waiting for this blog, and kudos mate! i guess ill haveto make a post on his mexican wife santa muerte. still find it odd that alot of austrians chosemexico for a new homeland,and incorporated thekrampus lore into their new life.

Scott said...

M.A., glad you liked the Krampus stuff. I'm eager to see some info on his wife.

2008...Bringin' Back Krampus!

Heff said...

Ok, Krampus scares the hell out of me.

Paul R. McNamee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul R. McNamee said...

If you don't watch The Venture Brothers, you should at least find a torrent of their first Xmas episode - Krampus made an appearance.

Scott said...

Heff, I guess that means if get a Krampus costume together, I can't wear if I ever come and visit you.

Paul, I do watch the Venture Bros, and I totally forgot about Krampus' appearance there.

Heff said...

You could wear it, just be prepared to watch me defocate on my own floor if you do.

Scott said...

Heff, LOL!

I'll bsend some Depends adult undergarments beforehand.

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