There is only a short time left before the start of the Christmas season, which is very important for the Christian world. Christmas is known for historical-mythological figures and traditions, especially Santa Claus. But Christmas celebrations, especially in parts of Europe, also have a much darker side and scary figures! One of the frightening elements of Christmas celebrations is the mythological entity called Krampus, which has survived to the present day with different narrations in various legends.
Krampus is often portrayed as a half-man, half-goat monster who punishes children who misbehave throughout the year at Christmas. In some narratives, he appears as Santa’s helper. In some narratives, he is a terrifying monster independent of Santa Claus.
However, he is also called “Anti-Santa Claus” or “anti-Santa Claus” because he is the opposite of Santa Claus, who brings gifts and joy to children, is a scary and punishing character. The origins of the Krampus legend, however, can be traced back to Norse mythology. Here’s what you need to know about Krampus, the fearsome creature of Christmas celebrations.
Krampus appears as an anti-Santa Claus figure in Christian narratives.
In some narratives, it is stated that he is a demon from hell. Therefore, the way it is depicted parallels the demons in the Christian world. However, there are also those who think that Krampus takes place in the beliefs and mythologies of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples. In particular, Scandinavian mythology is thought to be the source of the Krampus legend.
The name Krampus is believed to derive from the German word “krampen” meaning claw.
This link strengthens the claim that the origins of the legend originated in Central and Northern Europe. However, there are those who argue that there are serious similarities between the children of the underworld goddess Hel in Norse mythology and Krampus.
On the other hand, with the spread of the Christian faith in Europe, it is thought that Krampus was shaped according to the Christian culture and underwent some changes. For example, Krampus’ counterparts in Norse mythology do not have chains. However, modern Krampus is depicted with chains, just like demons in the Christian faith.
This beast, whose physical form is half human, half goat, also has horns!
However, it is stated that he has a long tongue similar to that of a snake, and that his body is covered with thick fur! Moreover, he appears with his birch stick, iron chains and the sack or basket he carries on his back! All of these are described as the weapons Krampus used to carry out his evil ambitions.
This scary creature appears during the Christmas period and punishes the naughty children
In some narratives, he is depicted as the helper of St. Nicholas. Accordingly, the good and bad sides of Christmas visit houses together. Saint Nicholas brings gifts and joy to children. Krampus is fear and punishment!
But in some narratives, Krampus appears before Christmas Day and wanders through the houses alone. So at Christmas time, Santa Claus can recognize the children who are supposed to give presents…
Krampus has different punishment methods👇
He tortures children with chains or a birch stick! But this isn’t the most gruesome of Krampus’ punishments! He disappears by stuffing more mischievous children into the basket he carries on his back…
Legend has it that it is impossible to know the fate of the children abducted by Krampus. It is believed that some of the abducted children were thrown into a river, while others were taken to hell.
Krampus is an important part of the Christmas tradition in modern Europe
In countries such as Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Czechia, 5-6 December is celebrated as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. On these dates, people dressed in both Saint Nicholas and Krampus costumes show up on the streets. People in St. Nicholas costumes go around the houses, distributing gifts or sweets.
People disguised as the scary creature playfully threaten their neighbors. However, it is also a common tradition for people in Krampus costumes to chase other passers-by with sticks in parades organized within the scope of Krampusnacht.
In the early 1920s, Krampus and almost everything related to the legend were banned by the fascist governments in Europe.
However, it is known that the legend of Krampus continues to live among the peoples of Europe and after a few years of ban, Krampus began to appear on the streets of Europe again.
The monster, which became very popular at the end of the 20th century, became an important popular culture product in the United States after Europe.
This scary creature, whose origins are based on ancient narratives of thousands of years, is an important fear factor for the cinema and TV series industry today. In addition, costume contests, parades and various events are organized about the scary monster of Christmas in different countries of the world, especially in the United States of America.