As many of you are already well aware, the Krampus legend has already been making its way into our popular culture over the last several years. If you’re not familiar with Krampus, he is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland etc. who accompanies Saint Nicholas. Unlike Saint Nicholas who rewards good children with gifts, Krampus punishes the naughty children with coal, switches them or if they are particularly bad, he captures them in a sack strapped on his back to feast upon them later.
Krampus is described as a hairy beast with cloven hooves and large horns on its head. It is usually demonic in appearance. Krampus carries chains to symbolize the binding of the Devil by the Christian Church and carries a sack on his back to put the most naughty children in. Krampus will sometimes carry bundles of birch branches to swat at children with.
December 6th is celebrated as The Feast of St. Nicholas or St. Nicholas Day in Europe. The eve of St. Nicholas Day or December 5th is known as Krampuscacht or Krampus Night. On this night, Krampus comes for all the naughty children.
In more modern times, Krampusnacht is celebrated by festivals throughout Europe on this night where participants don intricate Krampus costumes and parade through the streets. Participants use the festivities as a reason to consume alcohol and party as well. In recent years, American Krampus Night celebrations have begun to pop up across the country. Bloomington, Indiana features a Krampus celebration tonight and is growing in popularity.
Krampus is growing ever more popular in horror cinema lately. It has developed into its own sub-genre of horror with several films already released on the subject and more in various stages of production.
So all the naughty children need to beware tonight, for Krampus may be coming to town!
Below I have included some images of Krampusnacht participants and their incredible costumes, enjoy!