Happy Krampus Day!
Did you know that tomorrow is actually the festival of Christmas? Well, it's Saint Nicholas day. You know, the Jolly ol' fat man who gives you presents till you realize it's really Jack, the guy who's banging your mother. Well fuck you Brad, you aren't really my father! Besides that, I didn't need new shoes. You do realize that the plural of Anime is not Animes... Geez! Parents just don't understand!
If you have someone in your life that is a brat that would say something like the above statement, you would be all in favor of Krampus Day. It's Saint Nicholas day eve. So really, we celebrate Christmas on the 25, but that's some Christianity bullshit to piggy back on the good ol' Pagan festivities. Much like Halloween, the Catholic church wants to take attention away from those pesky Pagans. So they try to assilimate their own beliefs into the Pagan ones. Consider it the ultimate form of product knock offs. You know, when you buy that Super Ninjendo console machine from the flea market that has all the old SNES roms in there already? Yeah. Like that.
But anyhow, Krampus day. You know how you have your best friend rolling with you when you're sometimes chilling or doing your work and you ask your homie to roll along with you so you're not so lonely and you can potentially get them to do some of your work for you? Krampus is a lot like that. He's a mythical creature who accompanies Santa Clause (Jolly ol' Saint Nicholas) during the Christmas season. He's a sort of demon creature and the Ying to Santa's Yang.
Santa gives out presents to the boys and girls who have been good. Krampus gives warnings and punishments to the bad children. That's a long way from what we're left to believe in modern day with bad girls and boys getting a lump of coal. I'm sure if you want to scare the piss out of your little brat to being good, you should tell them that they have this to look forward to:
In some parts of the world it's actually a time honored tradition to dress up as Krampus on the evenig of December 5th and roam around at night scaring kids and women with rusty chains and bells. Other legends suggest that he gets the really bad children and carries them off in his sack and takes them along. You ever wonder where Santa got his elves? Yeah, you can wonder no longer.
Hungarian parents often frighten children with getting Virgacs instead of presents, if they do not behave. By the end of november you can by all sorts of Virgacs on the streets, usually painted gold, bound by a red ribbon. Ah, the wonders of celebrating beating children. In Austria Krampus is an evil fertility demon that has a long tail, fur, rattling chain, birch ranch and big black bag. He's pretty much Santa Clauses' dark shadow. If you're a fan of Dexter, he's his dark passenger.
The whole deal is that the 5-6th of December is a saint's day for St. Nicholas, who pronounced judgment on the children. Testing them on their catechism and rewarding their performance either with a gift or punishment. In short, this was a test. Martin Luther, when not nailing things to doors, forbade these Nicholas customs in the Lutheran area. Instead the "Holy Christ", the "Christ Child" himself was to be the bringer of gifts. So that's how you get it from a Pagan to a Christian Holiday. Pretty fucking crazy, right? Not as crazy as a demon who puts you in a bag, but sure enough it's getting to that level.
It is pretty funny that Christmas today is all about consumerism and living that ayn rand style of capitalism. Though, the personal talents are in making really shitty, mass produced toys. But this idea of personally giving the children what they wanted and putting home made shoes (fuck you, China!) is a contradiction to earlier days of Santa Clause. That in those times it was encouraged to frighten and threaten children. Putting moral pressure on them, especially when St. Nicholas is involved. You wanted to fuck around? You would be on the naughty list and Krampus would beat the ever living shit out of you, that is if he didn't snatch you away first.
Krampus is the sort of devil who chills with St. Nikolaus on the eve of December 6. In Stryia this attendant is named Bartel. He hangs with St. Nicholas while he's out on the prowl for gift giving. He's also known as Black Peter. I mean, that's pretty bad for people named Peter.. and/or happen to be black. Hey, you're attached to some demon looking mofo. Booyah!
I like that in Salzburg, young men put on the costumes and run around with mismatched shoes, stomping down the mains hopping areas ringing cowbells and pretending to snatch little children. What a wonderful culture to encourage that sort of behavior. I realize we're way to P.C. for anything like that. They also go about hitting people on the leg with switches. Try that in any red necked backwoods small town and you'll be lynched. But the beauty of this is that some dude dressed as St. Nicholas follows behind, handing out candies. See, that's the beauty of the season. And if
And if you can't get enough of this odd good cop/bad cop, black cop/white cop buddy police comedy, they also make cookies of the two and sell them on the streets. You'll be lying if you told me you didn't want a Krampus Kookie. This is all before you place your shoes on the window for Jolly ol' saint Nicholas. I think he may have a foot fetish.. You try justifying putting fruits and berries into some kids shoe. Who wants to eat shoe fruit?
You also have Krampus mask, known as Larven, as a means to show some artsy culture to the whole festivity. Which has to have large horns. They carve these suckers out of wood and super glues some horns of a goat on there. Ah, the true meaning of recycling an animal in whole! Just see this as a little bit of a mix between Halloween and Christmas. Jack Skellington would love it!
Then again, you shouldn't believe in any of this. I mean, Most religious historians and experts in folklore believe that there is no valid evidence to indicate that St. Nicholas ever existed as a human. They can find no evidence of him ever around, unlike they do with other members of the clergy. This guy, who I got my middle name from, is pretty much a ghost. No trace. Like me. One bad mother fucker who rolls with the devil. Booooyah! How you like me now?
In fact, there are quite a few indicators that his life story was simply recycled from those of Pagan gods. So you see how the Catholic Church rides shot gun with Santa Clause on Holidays. You can say that the Catholic Church is in its own way, Krampus. I'm sure they'll gladly beat you switches if you don't follow their set of rules.
The idea that you have either Santa Clause or the birth of your savior and lord Jesus. Hussin Christ (I went there) seems to be false in itself as well. Damn baby would die if it was born in the desert during winter. So you have just as much incentive to believe in Krampus. Not only that, but he looks a hell of a lot cooler than some dude in a white robe and an unkempt beard.
Over all, you shouldn't forget the roots and most of all, with a holiday that sounds this bad ass with characters that you should look to, I can't believe that modern culture in the states have just bypassed this otherwise awesome celebration that could be something amazing. Thankfully some places keep these practices alive and well. To the real spirit of the Holidays!
Merry Krampus Day!