Are you afraid of the Krampus?

It is fascinating to experience the various traditions that exist in Austria during Christmas time, one of which is the Krampus Parade. The parade takes place at night, and the participants are dressed in creepy Krampus costumes. They use demonic masks, spiral horns, whips and torches.

According to legend, the good old man rewards children for their good behavior, while the Krampus is there to punish those who misbehaved during the year - a task that in other cultures is performed by Santa Claus himself. The Krampus is Santa's evil twin. When good children receive gifts from St. Nicholas, those who have been naughty should be afraid of the Krampus. The Krampus has a goatee, horns, an ox tail and a devil face. You can find Krampus next to Santa in almost everything.

On the evening of 5 December, the day before St. Nicholas Day, men dress up as the hideous Krampus and go out into the streets to scare children, sometimes "beating" them with birch branches. To calm the Krampus, he is given a dose of Schnapps.

Talking with the participants, they told me that it is expensive to make a Krampus costume because the basics of a Krampus costume require an artesanal mask and horns, wolfish fangs, a fur-hide tunic, and hooves. Just the mask can cost around 300 to 450 euros (the cheapest one), people who participate are so dedicated, beside the cost of the costume they spend months rehearsing and preparing the parade! And it is totally worth it. It was so fun and interesting to see the Krampuses juggle torches or simply flick their whips at spectators (I got one whiplash hahaha).

Now tell me in the comments: Are you afraid of the Krampus?

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