Well the season is in the air. Or at least in some parts of the world. It hasn’t been very cold where I’m at. But then again it hardly ever does. Still I am reflecting on things that happen this time of year, or subjects that are relevant. So this blog will be about Krampus. Christmas’s darker side.
Krampus in History:
Krampus typically out-dates Christianity in certain Alpine traditions. This is only the description of a matching the character. But the creature we know as Krampus today was incorporated into the Christmas traditions sometime in the 17th Century.
This is when Krampus became known as one of the Companions of Saint Nicholas and originated in the regions around Bavaria, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary and other countries in that general region.
Krampus has many forms throughout history but many of them all agree that he shares the features of a goat. Hooves and horns are one prominent feature as well as the darkish brown or black colors of his hairy body. He has a long forked tongue and fangs and of course the eyes that glow with the fires of hell. But only when he wants them to. Otherwise Krampus is usually in the dark standing like a silent shadow waiting to clutch his prey. His prey that are most often children.
Many of the tales of Krampus can relate back to the times that the Moors raided through Europe and seized people to be taken back their homeland as slaves. It’s believed that the children were told stories associating Krampus with this to make naughty children listen to their parents. Maybe also to help them deal with the harsh reality of the situation.
Krampus in Modern Times:
Because of several movies, Krampus has grown more popular over the last few years. It seemed like maybe just five years ago, there was no one that I or my brothers talked to knew about him. Now he is all over.
Although it was always popular in many parts of the world, Krampus is still making a rise in the Western Cultures.
Some of the modern day myths about Krampus associate him with returning the naughty deeds that the naughty children did over the course of the year. Some say he is the bringer of coal and ruten bundles in which to swat the children with. Ruten, is a bundle of Birch branches.
Others associate him with a more evil side that brings outright terror to not only children but to whole families who forget the spirit of Christmas. At least that is what I have been hearing and the movie I just recently watched portrays it this way.
One thing for sure is that the belief in Krampus has existed for a very long time. Whether he works hand in hand with Santa or on his own accord is up to you to believe in. Or not. It has been a growing part of modern culture and has taken a significant rise over the years and probably won’t slow down. The world looks to these myths in a different perspective these days.
The movies and culture show that it is whole families being attacked and not just children. Still in all the films I have watched over the last few years or books I read with tales of the character or similar, they all have one thing in common.
It begins with a naughty or unbelieving child.
Share with the Kids….
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat