Who is that Christmas Devil called The Krampus?

Krampus? Do you know what a Krampus is or rather WHO Krampus is?

Last year, I wrote a post about Krampus making a comeback in Germany and Austria again. Little did I know then, that it would become known and popular in America. They even have a new movie release “Krampus” currently showing in theaters. I know who Krampus is only because I married a German and was introduced via my German family to this man or rather Christmas Devil. And let me tell you now, forget the bogeyman, Krampus is scary.
When living and working in Germany, I had many Germans tell me how they didn’t even like celebrating St. Nicholas or Santa Claus because they had such bad memories correlated with Krampus. On December 5th, children in Germany put their shoes or boots outside for St. Nicholas to come and leave chocolate or small gifts. St. Nicholas Day, Nikolaustag, is December 6th and children look outside to see what sweets St. Nick left for them. However, if the children have been behaving badly then rods or twigs will be found in their shoes courtesy of Krampus who visited instead of St. Nick.

Krampus Run

In some towns in Germany, there is a Krampus Run where people dress up as a Krampus and parade through the town scaring children and some adults. It also happens that sometimes Krampus can be found visiting alongside St. Nicholas to the homes and places around town. Krampus can be seen carrying birch branches or whips which he uses to punish naughty children with, chains to symbolize the binding of him to the devil, or even a sack which it uses to kidnap children for drowning or transporting straight to Hell.

These Krampusse have captured badly behaved children
These Krampusse have captured badly behaved children

Origin of Krampus

Krampus is derived from the word Krampen, which is German for claw. In Norse mythology, Hel ruled the realm of the dead and Krampus was Hel’s son, but Krampus also shares some characteristics with some Greek mythology demonic creatures.

What does Krampus look like?

Krampus is a horned figure that could represent something of devil imagery. It’s seriously scary and creepy all the way from its horned feet and demented goat like appearance down to its long pointed tongue

Krampus parade in Pörtschach am Wörthersee (2013) Photo: wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus
Krampus parade in Pörtschach am Wörthersee (2013) Photo: wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus

Want to join a Krampus Run?

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Dark Hour Haunted House, Plano, TX

Last year, 2014, I added the Krampus run to my bucket list. Well, guess what, this year, 2015, in Dallas, I’m getting the chance to mark that opportunity off my bucket list. If you are interested in checking out a Krampus Run or for this event: Krampus Walk 2015, 8pm, Wits End, Dallas, TX. At 8pm the walk will begin. Many will be meeting in a pub right at Wits End. Then everyone will walk East from there. There will be Krampusse all over the place, going in and out of pubs in groups and as individuals. Come join the fun! If you want to see if your city is having a Krampus Run, check out the Krampus Society for more information.

Pictures with Krampus

If parents think they have a hard time getting their kids to smile for pictures with sweet jolly Santa Claus imagine the difficulty with Krampus standing close by. Or wait, don’t just imagine….Plano, Tx, Sunday, December 13th, 1-4pm, at the Dark Hour Haunted House, for free you can have your picture, or your child’s picture, taken with Krampus.

Maybe my family will be seeing your family at the Krampus run or pictures with Krampus?

Tomorrow is our full German day experience in Dallas. Starting with the Christmas Market in Arlington and then the Christmas market at the German International School of Dallas to our Krampus Run. It’s going to be a fun and frightful day for our family.

The following is a great video showing a Krampus run in Munich, Germany. .
NY Times Video The Krampus Returns

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2 thoughts on “Who is that Christmas Devil called The Krampus?”

  1. The Nikolaus and the Krampus just visited my 6 and 3 year old grandchildren. In Germany you can ask for the Nikolaus to come into your family with or without Krampus. You give a paper to the Nikolaus where you write down what you liked of your children´s behaviour the last year and what you want them to improve and Nikolaus will tell them. And when he´s finished, Krampus will give them a bag with some sweets and a little present. This Krampus doesn´t resemble anymore the Krampus of my childhood in the 1950 when we were really frightened by him.


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