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December 5, 2008
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Happy Krampus Day by Solitairemiles Happy Krampus Day by Solitairemiles

December 5th, Saint Nicholas Eve is known as Krampus Day in some parts of Austria. He accompanies St. Nicholas, who visits every home during the night and leaves small gifts in the shoes of children who have been good during the past year. Those who have misbehaved, however, may get punished by his helper. He might take back the gifts that St. Nicholas left for them, and leave them a lump of coal instead. He might give them a birching with the switch he carries with him. Really bad children might even get carried off in his sack and taken along, or even put into an ink-well by St. Nick himself, as told in the Struwwelpeter: "Da kam der grosse Nikolas Mit seinem grossen Tintenfass.... Er tunkt sie in die Tinte tief, Wie auch der Kaspar "Feuer" rief. Bis "bern Kopf ins Tintenfass Tunkt sie der grosse Nikolas."

Krampus is an evil fertility demon that has a long tail, fur, rattling chain, birch branch, and big black bag. Children and adults go to the village square and throw snowballs to scare him off. Some people dress up as Krampus. A speculatius cookie is baked for the day. Bread baked in the shape of Saint Nicholas or Krampus is for sale. On Saint Nicholas Eve children place their shoes on the window sill or outside their bedroom door to be filled with fruits, nuts, and sweets. See also: Gruppo Krampus, Travisio Centrale:.
The many legends and traditions surrounding the saintly Nikolaus' often wild companions are more diverse than those of the saint. The pagan origin of all of these figures is evident although difficult to trace. The best known companion is Knecht Ruprecht, "Knecht" meaning servant. Historically, Ruprecht was a dark and sinister figure clad in a tattered robe with a big sack on his back in which, legend has it, he will place all naughty children. However, Knecht Ruprecht also became the servant and companion of the Christchild. In this role Ruprecht became the patron saint of Christmas and was called "Weihnachtsmann"Father Christmas or Santa Claus.
This is quite in contrast to Bavaria, where St. Nikolaus may be followed by the hideous Klaubauf, a shaggy monster with horns. In Austria the saint is followed by a similar horned creature, called Krampus, covered with bells and dragging chains.
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hyenacub-stock Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
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I love the old Krampus legend.
TheObsessiveBrowser Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2010
I would say that this mythological figure was & is used to control behaviorally - challenged children & keep them in line, among other things. Cultural anthropology is interesting !!
Solitairemiles Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
TheObsessiveBrowser Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010
There was a story in the Harlan Ellison anthology " Slippage " called " Knackles ". It was basically a loose homage to the Krampus myth put in an inner city setting, & meant to be a script for an updated version of " The Twilight Zone ". CBS rejected it because it was " too dark " & controversial for the Christmas season. Ellison was pissed.
cfryant Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2009
Nice, kind of like Christmas, Halloween, and abject terror all rolled into one! You know, for kids! :)
Solitairemiles Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
:) Exactly!
kayceeus Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know it's a wonder we make it through childhood after hearing all these horrible tales!! :giggle: I do love your Krampus though!!
Solitairemiles Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
I don't imagine that the Krampus would go over to big here in the US... they would scare the heck out of the kids, and the Christian right might get a little peeved.

I think it's fascinating, though.
kayceeus Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ha ha what doesn't make the "Christian" right upset!! :roll: That they call themselves Christian at all is an abomination they're the least Christian group of people I know of, but I won't get started on THAT subject!
Anyway yes, most all the fairy tales are based on some pretty scary stuff!
XTaintedLullabyX Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
That looks awesome. Love the legend as well lol.
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