Monday, December 5, 2011

Interlude #5: Krampus

Tonight I share a piece of Austrian folklore with you.
Tomorrow is December 6th and therefore the day of Saint Nicolas.

Saint Nicolas has a companion, a satanic figure called Krampus. While Nicolas gives presents to the good children, Krampus is the one who punishes the naughty ones.

Nikolaus and Krampus in Austria
Newspaper-illustration from 1896

And just as it is in real life the evil doesn't come alone - Krampusse usually occur in packs.

Today I know that these figures are just young men dressed up as Krampus to roam through the streets with their rusty chains and their bells. But when I was I child - imagine that - I met the real ones and this was quite frightening.
But we couldn't keep away from that procession - I wanted to see Saint Nicolas. Very close to my mother I stood in the line to get one of the golden colored walnuts from Saint Nicolas.

Anyway if you like to see how a pack of Krampusse behaves nowadays then please enjoy this clip shot in the 7th district of Vienna ...

If you like to get more historical information then please switch over to "The Vienna Review" and enjoy the nicely written article there: "Krampus? Who's that?"


No comments:

Post a Comment