Updated: Nov 4, 2019
When you think of Christmas ,you think of joy and laughter , the season of goodwill ,giving and receiving ,love and warmth and of course the man himself, Santa Claus, who also is the personification of joy and laughter and the season of goodwill, giving and receiving and love and warmth.
But there is also another character who is said to share the Christmas holiday with Santa Claus , a character who is only interested in punishment and terror rather than happiness and joy.
He goes by the name of... Krampus.
The Krampus has ha many different image variations over the years, but the following seems to be the most common physical characteristics of the Christmas demon .
Krampus is describe as a very large half goat half demon humanoid figure he is covered from top to bottom in hair usually black or brown, he is said to walk on one cloven hoof on one leg an and a bears claw on the other .
On his head two very large curling horns point up to the sky , his face is a horrendous misshapen horror to see ,with eyes that bulge from there sockets, and sharp fangs and a long pointed tongue that hangs from his grotesque mouth.
He carries long heavy chains which are said to represent the binding of the devil by the christian church , these chains are used to thrash about to scare and intimidate and restrain his prey .
hanging from the chains, there are many small bells that terrify any of his victims as they hear there distinct chime as he approaches .
He also carries bundles of burch branches which he likes to strike naughty children with , and on his back keep either a basket or a sack ,,but unlike Santa there are no toys inside.
Instead he uses it to carry children away to be drowned ,eaten or taken to hell.
The Krampus origin story goes back all the way before Christianity , his story starts in Germany centuries ago ,long before he was associated with Christmas .
In Germanic paganism he was named Krampen which translates into claw .
Tradition and folklore tells us he is the son or the Norse goddess Hel, who is described as a horrible hag who is half alive and half dead.
Eventually the Krampus made his way into tradition and tales of him travelling along side st nick as he gave out gifts on the 5th of December the night before the feast of st Nicholas.
St nick would give gifts for all the good children as they sleep , and krampus would follow seeking out the naughty children and stuffing them into his basket and take them away never to be seen again or if they were lucky the would get whipped raw with his birch switch.
The Krampus tradition has had a bumpy road over centuries ,especially after being banished by the catholic church ,but recently the the legend of krampus has started to become more popular each year.
People seem to love the lore of the Christmas demon which brings a darkness down on the warm happy tradition we have all come to cherish .
There are also many festival held all over the world that are becoming very popular ,locals dress up as the demonic creature and prowl the streets frightening young children and intimidating adults in the name of fun ,and are then rewarded with a shot of schnapps from the crowds.
The krampus has already found its way in to pop culture and there have also been a few movies also made , he has also turned up on the occasional christmas card.
But this is one dark Christmas folklore tale i will not be introducing into my home this Christmas .
So remember try and be good this Christmas and maybe you will be spared a visit from the Krampus.
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most of my research came from the following sites .