It’s the most wonderful time for some fear.
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:
Tonight is #Krampusnacht: In keeping with pre-Germanic Pagan traditions, men dressed as Krampus, St. Nick’s half-beast companion, have been frightening children on Krampusnacht for centuries. https://t.co/fFStuo8uVJ
— Mark Tompkins (@MLTompkins) December 5, 2017
Tonight, the evening of 5th December, is known in many alpine countries as Krampusnacht (krampus night). Krampus is the assistant of St. Nicholas. He is a hairy, horned, cloven-hooved figure, with bells, chains, birch rods, and sometimes a basket.
— Mike Odden (@MikeOdden) December 5, 2017
Represented Pitt among the Krampus tonight in Austria. One took my Pitt hat and placed it on his horn. I was about to take a photo of it, but then sadly another one whipped me at that time. pic.twitter.com/w6OQEAZ79n
— Chris Dokish (@ChrisDokish) December 5, 2017
It’s Krampus day today in Austria. 😈 Nikolaus comes tomorrow, after Krampus got all the bad kids in his bag 😅
— Martin Weber (@martinweber) December 5, 2017
To hell with the attacks on our Judeo-Christian values. Wishing you all a Merry Krampusnacht. May your defenses hold against the child-whipping demon Santa sends to torment your offspring. 🎄🎅🏻👹
— Gideon Yago (@gideonyago) December 6, 2017
Glad I didn’t know about Krampus as a kid. The threat of Santa giving me coal did the trick. I probably would have had nightmares every December if I knew about that kid-eating demon lmaoo
— Black Elsa ❄️ (@Very_NESSAsary) December 6, 2017
A centuries-old figure and menacing counterpart to St. Nicholas, Krampus is a demon-like beast that swats at naughty children, and even has his own holiday—Krampusnacht.https://t.co/QG1zEvAglr
— National Geographic (@NatGeoMag) December 5, 2017
What kind of sick twisted mind person decided to create this story for children? Good way to traumatise them.
— Bilal Rana (@Bilal6655) December 5, 2017