The Krampus Kalendar: P is for PERCHTA

Monday 16 December 2019

Not unlike Krampus the Christmas Devil himself, Perchta is a creature from Alpine myth, a product of the paganism once practised in the Upper German and Austrian regions of the Alps. Once venerated as a goddess, her name may mean "the bright one".

In the folklore of Bavaria and Austria, Perchta was said to roam the countryside at midwinter, and to enter homes during the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany, but especially on Twelfth Night itself. She would know whether the children and young servants of the household had behaved well and worked hard all year. If they had, they might find a small silver coin next day, in a shoe or pail. If they had not, she would slit their bellies open, remove stomach and guts, and stuff the hole with straw and pebbles!

She was particularly concerned to see that girls had spun the whole of their allotted portion of flax or wool during the year. She would also slit people's bellies open and stuff them with straw if they ate something on the night of her feast day other than the traditional meal of fish and gruel.

I re-imagined Perchta for 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas, and she will also appear in her new form in 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, which is into its final five days of 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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