December 07, 2020 3 min read

The Christmas festive music is playing in every shop already, and we can see tinsel and baubles in every window. Celebrations start happening in October to get people into the holiday spirit. The word Christmas may be associated with sugarplums, jingle bells, and joy, it has a macabre side as well that stemmed from folklore of Krampus.

In different parts of the world, the event of Christmas is a visiting place of Krampus, the Christmas Demon’s. Don’t know who he is? It’s a sinister monster who sprang from folklore originated in the central European region. This character is part goat and a part demon who can’t fit in a party hat because he has horns.

His name is derived from the German word “Krampen” which means claw. Similar to Santa Claus, he also visits the home of children, but his intentions aren’t jolly. His job is to burry naughty kids in his sack and brings them to his lair. As per the folklore, this evil Santa arrives in the night between 5th of December and remains till the morning of December 6th. His target kids who are naughty. And if a child has misbehaved seriously, he would suffer the most. Adults have been scaring kids with Krampus for a long time.

An article on Smithsonian.com described how kids could disappear and be tortured/eaten by Krampus. Tradition says things get worse when you leave twigs in someone’s shoes.

For some people, the Krampus Night is a part of the Christmas celebration. This horror character made a debut in festivities a long time ago. The roots of Krampus go back centuries, perhaps back to ancient paganism time.

It is believed he was the spawn of the Norse terror hel. Norse used to rule the underworld. The National Geographic Channel, back in 2014, mentioned that Krampus shares characteristics similar to demons such as fauns and satyrs found in Greek mythology.

The best explanation for this character comes from Christoph Waltz, a German-Austrian actor who is a popular screen villain. On The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he gave his take on Krampus. The catholic nation works on traumatization, and so it has given birth to Krampus. Sigmund Freud was an Austrian. The primal fear rooted in social conventions leads to Krampus facing persecution. In the 12th century, the Catholic Church attempted to demolish this devilish icon. Things took a political turn. The fascists in Europe during WWII found this character despicable because it was believed to be a creation of the social democrats. In some strange and twisted sense, this evil Santa was Hitler’s potential enemy. The Catholic Church managed to suppress the celebrations for many years.

In the current century, the matter isn’t as serious. People know this character because of the Krampus movie starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette, a horror-comedy released in 2015.

In the Alpine, the Krampus run or Krampus parade features men in costumes featuring this beast. This parade is not just popular in Europe, it has made its way to the United States as well. This has got people searching for the Krampus costume. In cities like New Orleans and Washington DC. People throw Krampus parties. Some even attend the local Krampus Nachts. If you happen to be attending any such parades or festivities, Gothrider is selling its Gasoline coffee Krampus kit. The kit includes a Krampus t-shirt, Krampus mug, a bag of coffee of your choice, and a gasoline coffee round bumper sticker.

The local population in many countries where Krampus is known gets a dose of scares. Enough Krampus has a scary reputation, the event is inclusive. Austria is trying to commercialize the persona of this devil by selling horns, chocolates, and Krampus figurines. Many refugees in Austria whose kids were petrified by the sight of this parade have been educated to alter their view about this ancient boogeyman. Hopefully, this has set their minds at ease. Some people even believe that Krampus is becoming too much commercialized and it’s losing its edge.

Nevertheless, the older generations who know Krampus as the devil might still pass on this story to their kids, making them wonder if the hoofs sound on their rooftops on Christmas are reindeers or someone else.


English