The Creepy Tradition of Krampus, the Child-Stealer

Krampus has crept out of its origins and into the American popular imagination.

Lump of coal, move over: Krampus Day is one punishment you’ll grow to love.

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Missing Halloween? Don’t fret (and DEFINITELY don’t be bad): December 5 is the day Germany expects the demonic Krampus to visit hell on mischievous children everywhere.

Fun, Family, Food, Fear: Hurrah!

Give your child a cute toy and a kiss this Dec. 6. (Or chase her all over the place – it’s up to you.)

You heard that right. It’s not just a creepy movie or nouveau tale – the myth of Krampus goes back centuries.

And yes, kids do believe the beast-man is coming this December to either set kids straight, or take them back with him to the place of eternal nightmares.

Believe it or not, this is all celebrated in good fun. Costumes, games and as special winter carnival are all part of the Krampus tradition in parts of Europe.

Who Is Krampus?

Krampus was made popular by the 2015 movie, but the legend has

Horrific costumes and fab food are all part of the festival of krampuslauf.

been around for centuries. Central European tradition says that this beast is half-man, half-goat – and it comes every December 6 to stuff misbehaving children into his hideous hell-sack and spirit them away.

Once almost certainly used to keep kids in line, the myth of Krampus is big fun for young and old today. There are holiday cards, toys and even a Krampuslauf (or “Krampus Run”) with adults in costume chasing frightened kids through Alpine towns.

Ho, ho, ho….ly hell, we say. But for its eager annual participants, the day is big fun, with food, dancing, laughter, and of course, screams. (We’re all in for that last part!)

Coming to America

Krampus cards are ho-ho-horrific.

Though the Krampus movies didn’t earn much in the way of green, they did open this ages-old belief to a more Western imagination.

Looking to celebrate? Dress up in something scary (horns are a must), cook fun Bavarian foods, have some beer, and chase the kids everywhere while they shriek like crazy. (Don’t worry – you can pay for their therapy later.)

De-traumatize the little monsters just a bit with a light-hearted children’s Christmas movie afterward and hand out yummy treats.

And remember: be good! We don’t want to hear about how you got stolen away in the dead of night. That would mean you couldn’t come back to have frightening fun with us in October 2019!

 

 

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