Krampus Is Here To Spread Christmas Fear

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A man dressed as a devil attends a Krampus show, the traditional parade where people in costumes and masks perform an old ritual to disperse the ghosts of winter, in Schladming, Austria, November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

It’s the most wonderful time for some fear.

Tuesday night was Krampusnacht ― an evening to celebrate what some European cultures consider to be Santa’s less jolly Christmastime counterpart, Krampus.

While St. Nick rewards good children with gifts, Krampus does just the opposite, beating them with a bundle of birch sticks. And while Santa carries toys in a sack on his back, Krampus has a basket on his back, which he uses to haul off the worst of the kids.

Krampusnacht is typically celebrated on Dec. 5, or the night before the Dec. 6 feast day for St. Nicholas, although the dates for both can vary, especially as Krampus takes on a bigger role in pop culture.

Here are some scenes from recent Krampus celebrations:

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