December 6th, 2008



Before the jolly depictions of Santa Claus with rosey cheeks and smiles, before the typical elves roaming about, there was actually an accompanying demon known as the "Krampus", sometimes displayed with Santa in the sleigh holding a switchel, or a collection of reeds with which to smite and thrash naughty boys and girls.

On December 6th, known as Krampusnacht, the demons would be let forth to discover and report the activities of children, and whether or not they were saying their prayers, or committing mischief. This fearsome and furry bogeyman appears with long curving horns and extended tongue, intended to scare children into line. An obvious religious manipulation.

As traditions transformed, the Krampus was modified into a relatively innocuous elf, merely helping St. Nickolas on his annual unloading of presents down chimneys, which was originally the responsibility of one "Knecht Ruprecht", often depicted as a hooded phantom with a sooty countenance - another variation of The Krampus {Winter Devil/Satan} archetype.

Many European villages still hold parades wherein fearsome horned Krampii and/or hooded reaper-like forms appear to terrify, finally followed by Sinter Klaas resembling a bishop to reward the devout with greedy dispensation.