Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
Nightsoul

The Krampus

7 posts in this topic

Who believes in the Krampus? For those of you who don't know, the Krampus is basically Santa's evil twin, but monster-looking. He is half demon-half goat. My family is of European descent, but they don't seem to know about it unless they've watched the movie, which we have. :hmm:

 

Anyway, the Krampus takes bad kids to the "underworld" also known as Hell, to add them to his collection. Those who aren't AS bad, he gives them coal, or teaches them a lesson somehow. 

 

You're probably thinking I'm too old to believe in these things, but a few Christmasses ago, I looked out the window when we were singing for Santa to come on Christmas Eve (at about 12 am - our family does that all together instead of falling asleep and waking up to presents) and I saw a red light on the sky. It was going way too fast to be an airplane, just so you know.

 

Two Christmases ago, we were singing like the last story, and I happened to go to the door to look outside. My uncle and aunt were telling me not to look, so I stopped. But that was before I saw a red light close to the door. It looked like there was brown also by it. I assumed it was a reindeer. And I did hear something on the roof the night we came home from Christmas Eve.

 

So back to the Krampus. If there's something good, there's got to be something that's the opposite - bad. The Krampus dates back centuries ago, so it couldn't have been "just created." You wouldn't know the exact author so you wouldn't be able to prove it's fake, right?  What do you believe? And please tell me any experiences you've had, if you have had them with the Krampus!

 

(I'm actually getting a Christmas shirt with the Krampus on it to wear for Christmas this year! :devil: I know my family will question it but that's okay. B) Last year for Christmas, I wore a Christmas shirt with white and red, and it had lyrics from "Santa Clause is coming to town" with emojis for certain things.)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

The movie has nothing to do with the real myth in the Alps. And it's only folklore. I have seen the custom being practiced in Germany and Austria. In the old, kind of violent way, and in the new, kids-friendly version. It's both fun! Now it's just a parade, but still fun. 

Where is your family from? They would have to be from a VERY specific region to be really familiar with this tradition. Europe is incredibly diverse. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FLOMBIE said:

The movie has nothing to do with the real myth in the Alps. And it's only folklore. I have seen the custom being practiced in Germany and Austria. In the old, kind of violent way, and in the new, kids-friendly version. It's both fun! Now it's just a parade, but still fun. 

Where is your family from? They would have to be from a VERY specific region to be really familiar with this tradition. Europe is incredibly diverse. 

My family is from Italy. We are more than Italian though; we're most likely also German and Swedish since my mother, her grandmother and her mother (who was adopted) all had blond hair when they were born… It turned light brown though. 

 

Do  you believe in the Krampus? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in Germany and Austria and during that entire time I only knew the Krampus from either pictures on candy wrappers or tales about how the Krampus would visit and chide naughty kids in the old days. In the German speaking lands the feast of St.Nicholas (the basis for Santa) is celebrated on the 6th of December and on that day St.Nicholas/"The Nikolo" is supposed to visit children and gift them candy and fruit (the custom comes from a time when fruit during winter time was still a very special treat). So German/Austrian kids actually have two days in Decembre (St.Nicholas' day and Christmas) when they gets treats/presents. 

The Krampus comes from folklore and is basically what you'd get if you'd mix the devil and a satyr, but much more harmless, a hairy goat man with horns and a long, red tongue who carries a rod made of twigs. He's basically St.Nicholas' "henchman" in the sense that St.Nicholas would send him to naughty children to chide them, beat them with his rod or put them in his sack to carry them away, likewise naughty children would get a bag filled with coals instead of a bag filled with candy. In the old days he was used to scare children into behaving (like the Boogieman in American folklore) "Now behave or the Krampus is going to take you away!" It's believed that the Krampus is a remnant of a pagan ritual to scare winter (or winter/night demons) away or something.  

In the olden days (pre 1970s/1980s) it was traditional that for St.Nicholas' day the father of a family (or a uncle, or a male friend, or male servant/farmhand in the very old days) would dress up as St.Nicholas and/or the Krampus and gift the children with candy in person (and/or scold them) Often this was connected with a review of the child's behavior throughout the year  (how obedient the kid had be, how it had done in school etc.).

By the time I was a kid the parents would just prepare the candy after the children had gone to bed, with the idea that the kids would wake up the next morning to discover that St.Nicholas had visited over night and left them presents. At some daycare and elementary schools teachers would still dress-up as St.Nicholas and hand out small bags filled with candy, then he'd tell his story about how he started gifting treats to children and everybody would sing some vaguely Catholic songs and that was it. The Krampus isn't used anymore in those little rituals because scaring children into behaving has fallen out of fashion. Today even the "coal" children sometimes get is actually sweets that just look like coals and "Krampus Rods" are twigs with cotton candy stuck at the top.

Today the Krampus only survives, as I said, on pictures of some candy/chocolate wrappers gifted on St.Nicholas' day and as a curiosity from the old days. During Christmas time you'll find mugs with the Krampus on them and t-shirts (often casting him in a very pathetic/comedic light) , even "cute" Krampus plushies. In some rural areas he is still used in a ritual called "Krampus march" where a lot people (mostly male adolescents) will dress up as the Krampus and march through down the main street of a village, carrying torches and jump around, playfully scaring passers-by (though that practice is really, really rare these days and I have never seen it when I still lived there).

And no, I don't believe in the Krampus, it's an old remnant of folklore and tradition.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Nightsoul said:

My family is from Italy. We are more than Italian though; we're most likely also German and Swedish since my mother, her grandmother and her mother (who was adopted) all had blond hair when they were born… It turned light brown though. 

 

Do  you believe in the Krampus? 

Instead of trying to write one myself, I'd recommend this very short summary on Krampus and his (mostly it's a he though you'll see it's a bit more complicated) origins. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Christian_Alpine_traditions

Basically, I'd say he's another of our old tradition(s) being smuggled into new, Christian customs.  

So, does Krampus exist? 

Actually, he does. But not as an actual physical being, he lives on as an archetype, occasionally borrowing human bodies to do his seasonal role.

 

On a more earthly side, in my area it's fairly common to describe someone using only one word: Krampus. It makes me laugh, every time. It's so funny it's not even properly offensive. Probably because of the sound of the word itself too, not only because of its meanings.     

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Nightsoul said:

My family is from Italy. We are more than Italian though; we're most likely also German and Swedish since my mother, her grandmother and her mother (who was adopted) all had blond hair when they were born… It turned light brown though. 

 

Do  you believe in the Krampus? 

That doesn't have to mean anything, and is pretty normal throughout Europe. There are plenty of blonde Italians, especially in the north. E: Krampus is also really only a tradition in the Alps. I am from the north of Germany, and we do not have a tradition like that. 

 

Do you believe in Santa Clause?

Edited by FLOMBIE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: My mother was hungarian, and my dad was german. Never heard anything about Krampus from him. His parents would go to Midnight Mass and then come home and celebrate Christmas.His father's family was from Bavaria, and his mother's parents  were Baltic Germans who came to America  in 1883 from Riga, latvia.  Apparently Krampus wasn't a part of the  family tradtion.  Now whether   their faith had something to do with it, I don't know.Grandma was a lutheran, who later converted. And grandpa had a sister who belonged to the School Sisters of Norte Dame, plus there were relatives in the old country who were nuns, and even a few priests and monks at some point in time, so maybe to them  it seemd like more of a pagan thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.