Friday, December 05, 2008

Merry Krampus!

Celebrate Krampus by pouring through this collection of Krampus inspired artworks I posted last year.

"December 5th, Saint Nicholas Eve is known as Krampus Day in some parts of Austria and the run of the Krampuses (fertility devils) is preserved both in the Tarvisio area, in Italy near the Austrian border, and in Südtirol/Alto Adige. Krampus is an evil fertility demon that has a long tail, fur, rattling chain, birch branch, and big black bag. Children and adults go to the village square and throw snowballs to scare him off. Some people dress up as Krampus. A speculatius cookie is baked for the day. Bread baked in the shape of Saint Nicholas or Krampus is for sale. On Saint Nicholas Eve children place their shoes on the window sill or outside their bedroom door to be filled with fruits, nuts, and sweets. See also: Gruppo Krampus, Travisio Centrale:.

The many legends and traditions surrounding the saintly Nikolaus' often wild companions are more diverse than those of the saint. The pagan origin of all of these figures is evident although difficult to trace. The best known companion is Knecht Ruprecht, "Knecht" meaning servant. Historically, Ruprecht was a dark and sinister figure clad in a tattered robe with a big sack on his back in which, legend has it, he will place all naughty children. However, Knecht Ruprecht also became the servant and companion of the Christchild. In this role Ruprecht became the patron saint of Christmas and was called "Weihnachtsmann," Father Christmas or Santa Claus.

This is quite in contrast to Bavaria, where St. Nikolaus may be followed by the hideous Klaubauf, a shaggy monster with horns. In Austria the saint is followed by a similar horned creature, called Krampus, covered with bells and dragging chains. " - quote source


micha mae said...

great post! i love finding out about the monstrous origins of seemingly innocent + americanized holidays. i'm particularly interested in the Krampus bread. i will have to research this a bit more, traditional festival breads are one of my current obsessions.

Angela Caperton said...

More Krampus lovers!

Thanks for sharing your Krampus!

If you like, here's my Krampus for you! (Adult Content - Not Work Safe).

Happy Holidays!