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The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

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The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

Post by Dragon on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:08 am

A mangled, deranged face with bloodshot eyes tops a furry black body. Giant horns curl up from his head, displaying his half-goat, half-demon lineage. Behind this terror, a dozen more stomp through the snow of the streets of Lienz, Austria, among a din of cowbell jangles. The creatures dash through the streets, chasing giggling children and adults alike, poking them with sticks and scaring some with the realization that they were naughty this year.

Lienz' annual Krampus Parade, also known as Perchtenlauf or Klaubaufe, resurrects a centuries-old tradition: Young men in town dress up as the mythical creature and parade through the streets in an ancient pagan ritual meant to disperse winter's ghosts. They march dressed in fur suits and carved wooden masks and carrying cowbells. The tradition—also known as the Krampuslauf, or Krampus Run—is having a resurgence throughout Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and has gained recognition in the United States.

The creature has become so popular in recent times that he has a comic book series, parties of his own and even a new movie. After all, says Jeremy Seghers, organizer of a Krampusnacht festival being held for the first time in Orlando, Florida, why watch out when Santa Claus comes to town? "Because Krampus is coming to get you."

Krampus himself historically comes around the night of December 5, tagging along with St. Nicholas. He visits houses all night with his saintly pal. While St. Nick is on hand to put candy in the shoes of good kids and birch twigs in the shoes of the bad, Krampus' particular specialty is punishing naughty children. Legend has it that throughout the Christmas season, misbehaved kids are beaten with birch branches or can disappear, stuffed into Krampus' sack and hauled off to his lair to be tortured or eaten.

"The Krampus is the yin to St. Nick's yang," Seghers tells Smithsonian.com. "You have the saint, you have the devil. It taps into a subconscious macabre desire that a lot of people have that is the opposite of the saccharine Christmas a lot of us grew up with."

In fact, Krampus' roots have nothing to do with Christmas. Instead, they date back to pre-Germanic paganism in the region. His name originates with the German krampen, which means "claw," and tradition has it that he is the son of the Norse god of the underworld, Hel. During the 12th century, the Catholic Church attempted to banish Krampus celebrations because of his resemblance to the devil. More eradication attempts followed in 1934 at the hands of Austria's conservative Christian Social Party. But none of it held, and Krampus emerged as a much-feared and beloved holiday force.

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Re: The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

Post by Dragon on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:10 am


(DOMINIC EBENBICHLER/Reuters/Corbis)

A man dressed in a traditional Perchten costume and mask performs during a Perchten festival in the western Austrian village of Kappl, November 13, 2015. Each year in November and January, people in the western Austria regions dress up in Perchten (also known in some regions as Krampus or Tuifl) costumes and parade through the streets to perform a 1,500 year-old pagan ritual to disperse the ghosts of winter.

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Re: The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

Post by Dragon on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:12 am


(Luka Dakskobler/Xinhua Press/Corbis)

A Krampus scares an onlooker during Krampuslauf.

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Re: The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

Post by Dragon on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:13 am



Krampus Lienz 2011

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Re: The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

Post by Dragon on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:14 am



Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.

All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

The horror-comedy also stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania Lavie Owen and Krista Stadler.

Krampus and his mischievous underlings have been created by the combined efforts of Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, both renowned for their epic work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and King Kong, among many others.

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Re: The Origin of Krampus, Europe’s Evil Twist on Santa

Post by QueenofHearts on Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:40 pm

When you love Christmas, and Halloween, and decide to celebrate them at once? Laughing Twisted Evil scratch

Cool post though. Learn something new everyday
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