The Legend of Krampus: You'll Wish You Got Coal

The Legend of Krampus: You'll Wish You Got Coal

First off, lets take a moment to appreciate this little number:

If you don't learn your lesson, Sinbad... I mean Krampus gives you the rod. 

The Origin of Krampus

Krampus isn't exactly the stuff of dreams: Bearing horns, dark hair, and fangs, the anti-St. Nicholas comes with a chain and bells that he lashes about, along with a bundle of birch sticks meant to swat naughty children. He then hauls the bad kids down to the underworld. 

We wondered: What are the origins of this "Christmas Devil"?

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.

The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.

Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat "wicked" children and take them away to his lair.

According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night before December 6, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. December 6 also happens to be Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when German children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they'd left out the night before contains either presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior).


Be Good For Krampus Sake

Krampus has been passed down for generations in Austria, and he seems to be garnering a following here in the states, which leads us to the question, Should we be continuing this story in our own home? Today's kids take everything for granted, and the threat of no presents seems to have a smaller effect each year. What if all they needed was a little scare in the right direction? A really good scare, like stealing candy and your parents calling their cop buddy to take you away, kinda scare. 

That might scare 'em straight.

Happy Holidays, Folks!

Behave or you're next on Krampus' list. 

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