Legends, Lore, Superstitions, and More
Christmas is usually filled with holiday cheer and joy. Santa Claus is known to spread joy and deliver gifts to children on Christmas. However, his counterpart, Krampus is known for the opposite.
Although Santa Claus has many opposites across Europe, Krampus is the most recognizable after the 2015 movie, Krampus.
It’s said that Santa will bring good children gifts and bad one’s coal, but instead of giving coal to bad children, Krampus punishes them instead. Krampus will chase children who were bad. Some stories even claim he drags bad kids to hell. Other stories say he beats children with sticks or eats them.
Krampus is usually described as a half-goat half-man creature but sometimes also described as a large woman who carried sticks in a satchel. Krampus came from pagan and Austrian traditions during the winter solstice. In Austria, there is a day where adults dress as Krampus and chase children to scare them called Krampusnacht. Krampus celebrations were actually banned by the Catholic church in the twelfth century.
Krampus can trace his origins to Hel, the Norse god of the underworld. Some say he is actually the son of Hel. After the spread of Christianity, Krampus was associated with Christmas. His arrival wouldn’t even be on Christmas but December fifth.
Krampus might just be an effort of parents trying to scare children into behaving, but Europeans still celebrate and sometimes fear him around Christmas time.