Most everyone has heard of Santa Claus. However, there are those in European countries who have also heard of Santa’s less than jolly, not so friendly counterpart—Krampus. As with everything in nature, there is a ying to every yang. And I guess that applies to Santa as well, as his yang is Krampus.
If children in the US were to be told of the story of Krampus, they would either have nightmares or would toe the line. Because the story of Krampus is a little frightening to me and I am in my fifties.
As the legend goes, Krampus is the not so merry and jolly opposite to Santa Claus. He is a half-goat half-demon individual that seeks out naughty children. While kids are on either a nice or naughty list with Santa, and the naughty ones getting coal in their stockings, Krampus is a little more extreme when it comes to naughtiness. It would seem that Krampus will search out the naughty children, and instead of giving them coal, will whip them with a bundle of birch sticks, stick them in a basket, and after placing the basket on his back will haul the children off.
In Munich Germany, Krampusnaucht, or Krampus night is celebrated on December 5th. This being that December 6th is celebrated as the feast day for St. Nicholas. Although, many countries will celebrate Krampus on different dates throughout December. In the past few years, several US cities have taken to celebrating Krampus in December as well.
Although Krampus has had several of his own movies made they pale in comparison to the numbers made about Santa. Even though he is becoming more known and “mainstream” it will still be a while before he is as widely known as his jolly counterpart. In the meantime, those who know of his origins better behave, or else they can expect an unexpected visit from him if they are deemed naughty enough.