The Krampus Kalendar: K is for KRAMPUS

Wednesday 11 December 2019

In the twenty-first century, we have become so used to the idea of Santa bringing gifts to good little boys and girls on Christmas Eve it is easy to forget that not so long ago, bad little boys and girls were likewise punished.

In the wild heartlands of Europe such legends are not so easily forgotten, and so it is that in countries such as Austria and Hungary, on 5 December, communities remember Krampus, a demonic anti-Santa who accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children.

In the Alpine regions, traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus and roam the streets, frightening children and women with rusty chains and clanging bells. In some rural areas the tradition goes so far as to include the birching of young girls!

Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back, used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell. The name Krampus itself originates from the Old High German word krampen, meaning ‘claw’.

So when the chubby, cheery fellow with the bulging sack of presents asks if you've been good or bad, you had better have been good, for goodness sake…

Krampus is the Big Bad of both the gamebook 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas and the roleplaying game 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, which is currently funding on Kickstarter.


To find out more about the festive season and its many traditions, order your copy of the Chrismologist's Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts today!

The book is also available in the United States as Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Christmas.



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