Tuesday, December 18, 2012


How could I have gone my whole life without hearing about Krampus?  Just a few weeks ago, I learned of this figure from Germanic folklore (and I'm half German).

Krampus is a demonic-looking hairy creature with cloven hooves, goat-like horns, and a long pointed tongue.  He accompanies Saint Nicholas and while St Nick rewards the good children with toys, Krampus carries off the bad children in a basket.  Different stories have him either drowning, eating, or carrying off those bad kids to Hell.

I tried to tell my kids to be good or Krampus will carry them off but they just laughed at me.  I should have started when they were younger.  I do like Krampus, though, probably because I'm so Scrooge-like about Christmas.

Apparently, the Krampus mythology dates back to pre-Christian times and while the church has tried to temper celebrations of a devil-like figure, some people still keep the idea alive.  See Krampus.com for some neat information and images.

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