Krampusnacht :: December 5th
Learn more about this Central European winter festival custom.
Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved.
This contrasts with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.
Krampus is one of the companions of Saint Nicholas in several regions including Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Hungary, Northern Italy including South Tyrol and the Trentino, and Slovenia.
The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated it as having pre-Christian origins.
In traditional parades and in such events as the Krampuslauf (English: Krampus run), young men dressed as Krampus participate. Such events occur annually in most Alpine towns. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten.
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