With Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale just opening in American theaters and an evil St. Nicholas terrorizing theaters in the Netherlands, now is a good time to give some love to Santa’s monstrous Eastern European punisher of naughty children, Krampus. Even more timely given this past week saw the annual celebration of this ferocious Yuletide terror in Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and elsewhere.
What is Krampus? Just a hairy devil creature adorned in chains around his neck, ankles and wrists, and wearing a cloth sack around his waist that went around with Santa beating naughty children with birch branches and if you were really bad, you just might wind up in a sack and dumped into the fiery pits of hell. Just watch the first music video – a major WTF in its own right – for a better understanding of the Krampus legend.
The second video gives you a taste of what Eastern European Krampus celebrations can be like. Your eyes do not deceive you; people in hairy monster costumes really are running through the streets smacking people with birch branches. Ouch! Such celebrations began this past week, as Krampustime generally begins around December 5th.
This lesser known slice of Christmas folklore is only just beginning to gain notoriety. If you’re unfamiliar with the legend of Krampus, here are two videos guaranteed to make you go “WTF?”
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