Wednesday, December 23, 2009

happy horror days!

my good friend, co-worker, and official beattyville dork, tyler, showed me a scary myth of one of santa's unpopular helpers. he isn't a sweet little elf who makes toys out of wood. not a reindeer that flies him around the world... he isn't even the man who cleans up the stables... he is evil and will turn you into sausage.

"Krampus is a mythical creature. In various regions of the world – especially Austria– it is believed that Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children.

The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by an incubus-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of December 5, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells.In some rural areas the tradition also includes birching – corporal punishment with a birch rod – by Krampus, especially of young girls. Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.

Modern Krampus costumes consist of Larve (wooden masks), sheep's skin, and horns. Considerable effort goes into the manufacture of the hand-crafted masks, and many younger adults in rural communities compete in the Krampus events.

In Oberstdorf, in the alpine southwestern part of Bavaria, the tradition of der Wilde Mann ("the wild man") is kept alive. He is like Krampus, but has no horns, is dressed in fur, and frightens children (and adults) with rusty chains and bells, but is not an assistant of Saint Nicholas.

In the aftermath of the Austrian Civil War the Krampus tradition was a target of Austrian Fascists allied with Nazi Germany."

leave it to germany to come up with this creature.

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