WE WISH YOU A SCARY CHRISTMAS
It is important to remember that even during these times of the year I am always on the lookout for the rotten and the horrible, even in a happy and colorful holiday like Christmas!
With this short article, I take the opportunity to tell you about a new creepy place to visit: Innsbruck, Austria, because I discovered that our dear Alpine friends, during the Christmas period, decide to dress up as Krampus and go around the city whipping people! This tradition is also widespread in some parts of Germany and Austria and is called “Krampus Run” or “Krampus Parade”.
WHO IS KRAMPUS?
Krampus is a figure from Alpine folklore, a demon who accompanies Santa Claus during the night of gift distribution…His job? To punish with a rod the naughty children while Santa Claus distributes the gifts.
The term “Krampus” comes from the Bavarian krampn, meaning “dead”, “putrefied”, or from the term kramp, which in German means “claw”. The legend tells that at one time, during periods of famine, young people from small mountain villages dressed up as “demons” (as Krampus, precisely) and went around terrorizing and looting other nearby villages for supplies; after a while, the young people in the group realized that there was an infiltrator: a real demon had infiltrated among them, unmasked by the hooves shaped like a goat’s hoof. Therefore, the bishop Saint Nicholas was summoned, who exorcized him and made him his slave and forced him to follow and obey his requests.
So, for tradition, in the following years, the young people of the villages continued to dress up as demons, using large fur clothes, masks representing horrible demons, and large bells to wear: it is said to drive away the winter, no longer to plunder the villages, but to obey Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus), punishing the naughty children.
This tradition is now known as “Krampus Run” or “Krampus Parade”, that is, an eerie parade of demons (beautiful and super detailed, by the way) who, among the screams of the people, push and whip the passersby on the street. I had the chance to see it in Innsbruck, but it also takes place in some Alpine areas of Italy (such as Trentino), in Germany and in other parts of Austria. And we wonder, then…that there is not a real demon also among this group of masked people? Zanzanzan
KRAMPUS AND DEAD ANIMAL SKULLS: THE CREEPY CHRISTMAS THAT I LIKE
Obviously, I was enchanted by this tradition, and I loved the sense of unease, and the fact that even in a happy and colorful holiday like Christmas, there is still room for the rotten and the horrible. And let’s not forget the animal skulls! They are the perfect souvenir and, of course, I got one!
In short, if you are looking for a creepy and different Christmas experience, I recommend that you visit Innsbruck (or any other city where the Krampus Run takes place) and experience the thrill of being chased and whipped by demons!