celebrations

U.S. kids have it easy – in Germany a demon accompanies Santa and beats naughty kids with a stick

He’s known in Alpine countries variously as Krampus, Klaubauf, Bartl, and Wubartl, a beast-like, half-goat, half-demon creature that takes over where Santa left off (think of Krampus as the anti-Santa).  While Saint Nicholas rewards well-behaved boys and girls with gifts, Krampus captures naughty kids, places them in his oversized-sack, and carries them away to his lair or worse, hell. Traditionally, each year during the Christmas season, men in Austria, Bavaria, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Croatia dress up in frightening elaborate Krampus costumes and roam the streets looking for small kids to chase, scare, and beat with sticks. The history of the Krampus creature dates back to pre-Christian Germanic traditions and likely originates from well-known tales about St. Nicholas’ battle with the devil.  He is sometimes