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Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil


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Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil
The mythical Krampus is meant to whip children into being nice.


Merry—or not-so-merry—Krampus! This beast with Germanic roots is St. Nicholas's other half and scares children into being nice, not naughty.

 

post-3-0-79714100-1387991621_thumb.jpg

PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

Tanya Basu
National Geographic
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 17, 2013

Bad Santa, meet Krampus: a half-goat, half-demon, horrific beast who literally beats people into being nice and not naughty.

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).

A more modern take on the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic involves drunken men dressed as devils, who take over the streets for a Krampuslauf—a Krampus Run of sorts, when people are chased through the streets by the "devils."

Why scare children with a demonic, pagan monster? Maybe it's a way for humans to get in touch with their animalistic side.

Such impulses may be about assuming "a dual personality," according to António Carneiro, who spoke to National Geographic magazine earlier this year about revitalized pagan traditions. The person dressed as the beast "becomes mysterious," he said.

Lump of Coal Preferred?

Krampus's frightening presence was suppressed for many years—the Catholic Church forbade the raucous celebrations, and fascists in World War II Europe found Krampus despicable because it was considered a creation of the Social Democrats.

But Krampus is making a comeback now, thanks partly to a "bah, humbug" attitude in pop culture, with people searching for ways to celebrate the yuletide season in non-traditional ways. National Geographic has even published a book in German about the devilish Christmas beast.

In the U.S., people are buying into the trend with Krampus parties. Monday night's episode of American Dad, called "Minstrel Krampus," highlighted the growing movement of anti-Christmas celebrations.

For its part, Austria is attempting to commercialize the harsh persona of Krampus by selling chocolates, figurines, and collectible horns. So there are already complaints that Krampus is becoming too commercialized.

Looks like Santa might have some competition.

Follow Tanya Basu on Twitter.

 

Article Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/

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Hi Bob Woa! Thats creepy, I must say I'm not surprised it exists!

Am I bad for saying SOME kids these days could do with mr krampus cranky to scare em to being good! Lol! No not really,

it's another sick Historical Pagan thing to commercialise!

Interesting info though Bob

Meely

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LOL. That's sick.

I grew up in Germany and have never heard of 'Krampuslauf'. Maybe it's only done in certain regions.

I two, live in Germany, never heard of this. It seems every morbid celebration (from anywhere in the world) is good enough to bring people in the right mood to be evel!

Like: Genesis 6:5 Consequently, Jehovah saw that man’s wickedness was great on the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time.

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Even our German brothers haven't heard of him?

Well, the story does say he's been asleep for a while, even relatively recently suppressed by Hitler etc. But you can be sure of one thing... his reappearance is bound to continue.

Why do we have the present expansion of the devil's 'halloween' to parts of the world which didn't know it twenty years ago?

One of the ultimate ironies as I pondered all sorts of things when my wife was first hospitalised last year was the death of a little girl, she was just six or seven or eight.

As her mother drove her home she slept in the back seat of the car. An oncoming truck hit a kangaroo and it smashed through the windscreen, went between the front seats and crushed the poor kid in the back.

They were on their way home from a 'halloween' party.

No wonder Satan's laughing!

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I always find it deeply ironic that santa rearranged = satan!

Id imagine that's just coincidental. As the name Santa is alleged to have its etymology from a 3rd/4th Century Christian who was granted Sainthood by the Catholic Church called Saint Nicolas. The name over time being anglicized and shortened to Santa over millenia after his existence. The traditions of Germanic paganism were absorbed blended into Catholicism which in turn spawned the 'legend' of Santa Claus or Saint Nicolas. 

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Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil

The mythical Krampus is meant to whip children into being nice.

Merry—or not-so-merry—Krampus! This beast with Germanic roots is St. Nicholas's other half and scares children into being nice, not naughty.

 

attachicon.gifkrampus christmas devil.jpg

PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

Tanya Basu

National Geographic

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 17, 2013

Bad Santa, meet Krampus: a half-goat, half-demon, horrific beast who literally beats people into being nice and not naughty.

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).

A more modern take on the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic involves drunken men dressed as devils, who take over the streets for a Krampuslauf—a Krampus Run of sorts, when people are chased through the streets by the "devils."

Why scare children with a demonic, pagan monster? Maybe it's a way for humans to get in touch with their animalistic side.

Such impulses may be about assuming "a dual personality," according to António Carneiro, who spoke to National Geographic magazine earlier this year about revitalized pagan traditions. The person dressed as the beast "becomes mysterious," he said.

Lump of Coal Preferred?

Krampus's frightening presence was suppressed for many years—the Catholic Church forbade the raucous celebrations, and fascists in World War II Europe found Krampus despicable because it was considered a creation of the Social Democrats.

But Krampus is making a comeback now, thanks partly to a "bah, humbug" attitude in pop culture, with people searching for ways to celebrate the yuletide season in non-traditional ways. National Geographic has even published a book in German about the devilish Christmas beast.

In the U.S., people are buying into the trend with Krampus parties. Monday night's episode of American Dad, called "Minstrel Krampus," highlighted the growing movement of anti-Christmas celebrations.

For its part, Austria is attempting to commercialize the harsh persona of Krampus by selling chocolates, figurines, and collectible horns. So there are already complaints that Krampus is becoming too commercialized.

Looks like Santa might have some competition.

Follow Tanya Basu on Twitter.

 

Article Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/

Oops that'll teach me for not reading the opening post. 

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Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil

The mythical Krampus is meant to whip children into being nice.

Merry—or not-so-merry—Krampus! This beast with Germanic roots is St. Nicholas's other half and scares children into being nice, not naughty.

 

attachicon.gifkrampus christmas devil.jpg

PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

Tanya Basu

National Geographic

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 17, 2013

Bad Santa, meet Krampus: a half-goat, half-demon, horrific beast who literally beats people into being nice and not naughty.

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.

 

 

Bump to say: Check this out.  http://www.krampus-night.com/

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Sancta is latin and means saint, and the original Santa Claus is based on the church figure of Saint Nicholas. The gift-giving thing is based on an old legend according to which Saint Nicholas gave three purses to three poor girls in order for their father not to force them into prostitution.

 

I hate to say it, but God is also an anagram of dog. So better to just not go there.

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I hate to say it, but God is also an anagram of dog. So better to just not go there.

There are many "Gods" in this world. Most of them are like dogs! So this anagram seems fitting.

However as we all know the name of the "almighty God" is Jehovah. I wonder if any anagrams exist in this Holy name?

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