Krampus – Lethal Threat
Last week we sent out an e-mail blast to our customers wishing them, Happy Holidays. We heard back from a receipt of the e-mail telling us if we don’t have the balls to say the word Christmas, stop e-mailing him. So we have no problem to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, or Merry Krampus to all of you who choose to celebrate any of these holidays, thought it would be easier to say Happy Holidays so we don’t miss anybody. Maybe you never heard the greeting Merry Krampus if you are not from Central Europe. We all heard kids being told to be good, because Santa is keeping a list of who has been good or naughty. So what happens to the kids who have been naughty? For American kids, nothing really happens if they have been naughty, maybe one less toy, but kids in regions such as Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Northern Italy, really have something to worry about.
Krampus, in European folklore, is a horned figure described as half goat and half demon, who during Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved. Krampus is the opposite of Saint Nicholas” Santa”. On the evening of December 5th, Krampus Night or Krampusnacht, the wicked hairy devil appears on the streets. Looking for naughty children to punish. The sight of the Krampus is truly scary.
The Krampus costumes consist of intricate hand carved wooden masks that take months to make, by a handful of skilled artisans. Traditional costumes are made from goat / sheep skins, and animal horns to give the look of a true demon who has come to life. In 1923, the celebration of the feast was banned in Austria for being too evil. Towards the end of the century, a popular resurgence of Krampus celebrations occurred and continues today.
It has been advised, to stay off the streets on Krampus night in small villages. The costumed characters, usually young guys who get totally wasted, before putting on their costumes, take the shenanigans to dangerous levels. They have been known to whip bystanders with chains and sticks, causing real havoc. The bigger cities, such as Innsbruck, the Krampus just walk through the city center and look scary. Another holiday, were you can look evil, gives all the Halloween lovers something to look forward to.
For me, this is on my bucket list to attend next year.
Do not be late for the Holidays!