Written by Patti Pauley
While hundreds of thousands of holly jolly people in the United States flock to Christmas parades currently happening in their cities in anticipation of the holiday season, a town by the name of Klagenfurt in the country of Austria is giving St. Nicholas the long, monstrous bony finger by instead celebrating the Christmas Devil himself-Krampus. That’s right folks, in lieu of kids sitting in the fat man’s lap, they are instead terrorized by over 1000 plus Krampus’ parading down the streets in the Krampuslauf festival held on December 5th, 2016.
Next week, the largest concentrated gathering of ‘Krampi’ will descend unto the streets of Klangenfurt in a wicked cool, booze-infused festival welcoming the beasts much to the delight of the little town that embraces their legendary devil. Although the participants tend to be mostly men trying to out-do one another in their Krampus costumes, women participate in the parade as well dressed as Perchta, a pagan goddess of Germanic origin. After the parade, the festival goers celebrate further in an after-party filled with the sounds of Black Metal and of course, more booze. What a party!
Krampus is widely known to be Santa’s dark shadow for the holidays in German folklore, punishing mischievous boys and girls by beating them and throwing them into a cage they the demon carries on his back. Although mainly a European tradition, in recent years the western side of the world has been giving more attention to the terrifying, holiday goat-beast in horror films allowing the Christmas Devil to breathe new life into people’s holiday shenanigans where it may have not been prior.
So if you JUST HAPPEN to be in or around Austria next week, you may want to check this out. Or if anything, plan for next year as the Krampuslauf festival is one hell of a bucket list item to check off.
Featured Photo Credit: Osterreich Werbung