Who is Krampus?

Who Is Krampus?

By Kael Starr

The name Krampus derives from the Old German word Krampen, meaning Claw.

He is typically depicted as a half-goat/half-demon, donning chains and birch sticks to whip misbehaving children as well as a sack to carry them away.

Krampus is most often seen hanging out with Saint Nicholas, representing a balance of good and evil.

Historically, they are out and about around the night of December 5th, visiting houses.

While St Nick is busy putting candy in the shoes of good children, Krampus is more than pleased to punish naughty children, dragging them from thier beds while whipping and beating them with birch branches. Krampus then stuffs them in his sack and tows them to the underworld for further torture or to enjoy them as a main course in a scrumptious dinner.

Krampusnaucht (Krampus Night) is traditionally celebrated in parts of Central and Eastern Europe including Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.  These traditions, more recently, have come to the United States by those eager to continue familiar tradition. Celebrations can involve exchanging Krampuskarten (Krampus cards), dressing in elaborate costumes, and most anticipated and exciting of all… frightening children!