Thursday, November 02, 2006

Its beginning to look a lot like Krampus

I have a new favorite holiday... Krampus! And I plan on celebrating it.

Here's what one source says about Krampus:

"Although Santa Claus once punished the bad children along with rewarding the good (using his 'naughty or nice' list), he seems to have forgotten his punishment duties. In Europe, where Saint Nicholas brings the winter gifts, punishment is still part of the fun in the form of a devilish assistant. This mysterious figure is known by many names: Knecht Ruprecht, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, Black Peter and Krampus. Actually Santa and Krampus evolved from the same ancient roots, from the forests and caves of prehistoric Europe; their ancestor is the same Horned God who became known as the Devil. The growing interest in Krampus takes inspiration from 19th century holiday cards, which range from comical to truly terrifying. In Austria and the EU, Krampusnacht (Night of Krampus) is observed on the eve of St. Nicholas' Day (Dec 6th). A cross between Halloween and Xmas, revelers honor Krampus by mumming (frightening innocents with horrible masks and garb), playfully hitting people with sticks, dancing and carousing, among other activities. Krampusnacht is rapidly gaining celebrants in the US and across the world. In December 2006, Krampus is coming to America to pick up the slack for Santa."

Apparently, St. Nick and Krampus were once viewed as sidekicks. Santa did the rewarding, and Krampus was the punisher. And Krampus evidently looked a bit like a devil.

Hmmm. S-A-N-T-A versus S-A-T-A-N. Coincidence???

From other things I've read, I'm delighted by the descriptions of Krampus festivals where evil Krampus (krampi??) dress in horned masks and then wander the towns knocking on doors where children live. When the parents open the doors, the krampus run in and terrify the naughty children with switch cracks and growls. Then, with the children's shrieks still hanging in the air, the parents invite the Krampus to sit down and drink a few. Can a winter festival get ANY better than that? I think not.

Talk about a way of keeping your children in line! Here in Amerika, all we do is reward spoiled, fat, lazy children with more things to make them fatter and lazier. And more spoiled. American children actually feel ENTITLED to all of these presents- just for existing- be they naughty or nice. At least in Europe they still scare the bejesus out of their kids with the threat of actual coal and switches in their stockings.

Another good thing about Krampus is that you don't see a shitload of Krampus decorations already hitting the malls and retail outlets. Its not even Thanksgiving yet, for Christ's sake! One holiday at a time! FIRST Thanksgiving. THEN Krampus (on December 5th).

I promise not to mention Krampus again until the big Krampus shopping day-- the day after Thanksgiving.

1 Comments:

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Six Shooter said...

I miss celebrating St.Nicks. Since much of my faliny was German, as were many families in my home town, St. Nicks was celebrated yearly. In Florida, nothing. No one even knows what I'm talking about.

And I've known a lot of women who celebrate Krampus a couple times each month.

 

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