Continue reading...High in the snowy back country of Germany children everywhere look forward to the early December feast day of St. Nicholas, that kindly gift bringer of ancient origin. But unlike other children German kids have not only to be on the lookout for St. Nick – but also for his alleged dark opposite known as Krampus.
St. Nicholas is for the nice kids – Krampus is for those who are challenged with the concept of being nice.
Krampus’ image is anything but merry — or like anything else associated with Christmas.
He is a beast that looks like half a goat with horns and a bifurcated tongue. He is hairy. And when it comes to Christmas, he is all business.
Krampus is an ancient character still celebrated as much as St. Nicholas in parts of Germany. Like all the great legendary figures of Christmas his true origin is unknown and like Santa Claus his image has morphed over time.
His name comes from the German word krampen, which means claw. Some say he is the son of Hel from Norse mythology...