The True Legend of Krampus - Who is Krampus?
America has Santa. Germany has the Christkind… but then there is this ½ goat ½ devil man that shows up in Bavarian & Austrian folklore. Who is this Krampus? Where did this crazy legend come from? Well we’ve got the low-down on this darker Christmas tale. Here are the true Krampus facts that you need to know.
The name Krampus is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw. He is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology.
In the 12th Century, the Catholic Church attempted to do away with Krampus because of his resemblance to the devil. But the tradition was too strong! The best they could do was to spin the tale and create what one might call a compromise… Thus he became the companion to St. Nick; the duality of good and evil.
Image copyright Rare Dirndl 2017
Dec. 6th is Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when children look to see if St. Nick left them gifts in their shoes or boots. Dec 5th is Krampusnacht or Krampus Night. In some regions, it is said that Krampus would leave bad children rods, sticks or take them away in his basket or sack.
Classic German... to think that with every wonderful thing, there is the possibility of something equally as terrible.
Today, Krampus is making a big come-back in pop culture. Perhaps it is in response to the commercialization of Christmas... a way of adding a darker reality into the sugar plum sweetness that Christmas usually represents.
There is also the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia & the Czech Republic of the "Krampuslauf" which involves folks dressed as Krampus, who take over the streets—a Krampus Parade of sorts.
These events are also gaining popularity throughout the US with major events in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Dallas. For a full list of Krampusläufe, CLICK HERE
Need more Krampus in your life? Then be sure to check out our Krampus Collection! Only available during the holiday season, we have new items and classic favorites like the feel-good children's book "Krampus Meet's His Match"
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As always, ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. - Erika