Krampus is the evil alternative to Santa Claus, the demon version of St. Nicholas.
The Krampus stories are most common in Austria, Slovenia and Croatia but is traced back to countries with pre-Christian alpine traditions.
Krampus is a devil like creature who punishes children who have been bad – the opposite of Santa Claus rewarding children who have been good for the year.
The word “Krampus” is German in origin, being old high German for “claw”. The date December 5th is a strong date for Krampus as in some towns he will roam the streets chasing children and women with bells and chains. Otherwise he will accompany Saint Nicholas. December 6th is Krampusnacht in some parts of Bavaria and elsewhere in Germany.
Krampus, the holiday devil, may have a match in Frau Perchta. On Krampusnacht, in Germany, when the men dress up as strange demons the women dress up as Perchta – the Nordic goddess. Frau Perchta may be an aspect of Freyja, the fertility goddess.
This YouTube pop video shows how Krampus is still very much of modern alpine culture.
In Pure Spirit
Will you be warning children of the dangers of Krampus visiting if they’re not well behaved kiddie-winks?
Join the conversation