The Mysterious Legend of Krampus: “The Christmas Devil”
When Christmas is approaching, many children around the world wait with joy and impatience for the arrival of the 25th of December so that the most striking icon of these dates, Santa Claus or Santa Claus, appears, and I leave the gifts they have been under the tree. waiting all year. But only if they behaved well and were good. But there is one place in particular where bad behavior has more than dire consequences: Northern Europe.
In European folklore, there is a creature that carries children who have misbehaved in a bag or basket, never to be seen again. This being is known as Krampus.
This demon lives underground and appears on the afternoon of December 5th, prowling the streets for two weeks, ringing bells and rusty chains that he uses to scare adults and children alike, as he likes to sow terror in children’s hearts before kidnapping them.
According to legend, many years ago, Santa’s list of bad boys had grown too long. Disheartened by the work he had to do, Santa Claus asked Krampus to take care of them instead.
The demon took it without thinking for a moment. So, while the good children received gifts, the bad ones were bound with chains and taken underground, where they would be beaten and eaten by the Krampus.
Parents told their children that this creature existed centuries before Christ. It symbolizes the dark side of Christmas. He is the antithesis of Santa Claus, but his age is 10,000 years old.
Krampus is a creature that comes from the Alpine countries, especially from the lands of Austria and Hungary. The word Krampus comes from the Old German word “krampen” which means claw.
There are two ways to describe the Krampus: one of them, and the most popular, is that it has a demonic face, a long tongue, sharp teeth, huge horns on its forehead and a grotesque grimace. His body is covered in dark fur and has faun-like legs.
The second way in which they describe this creature is that of an old man with a thick beard and gray hair, with the appearance of a hermit. In some ways, in this description, he looks more like Santa Claus.
In the 19th century, due to German influence, the legend of Krampus spread to Croatia, Czech Republic and Slovakia. It reached the north of Italy.
In Europe, during the Middle Ages, Christmas looked more like Halloween, as peasants dressed as such to go out scaring their neighbors and thus get food.
Children in central and northern Europe know that they must behave well, otherwise Saint Nicholas (or for us, Santa Claus) would not bring gifts. Instead, the Krampus would arrive to take them to an underground world of eternal fire.
During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church tried to eradicate this belief by considering Krampus a pagan demon. But I don’t know how he managed to end his legend, since it was deeply rooted in the population.
At the end of the 20th century, the figure of Krampus was revived thanks to costume parties and shows where young people from various parts of Europe dressed up as this demon.
Currently, Krampus is more alive than ever. The resurgence of this demon in the technological society we live in is fascinating.
Although in some parts of Europe it is a tradition, since parades called “the Krampus race” are organized, where this being appears in the streets carrying a torch and wanders around whipping people who observe him with dry branches.