Who is the Krampus: origin and history –

They say that the entire Universe is made up of opposites. The day exists, because the night exists; there is no light without darkness; nor summer without winter. We are dual. And also, or above all, in regard to good and evil. If Christmas is talking about peace and love, about the baby Jesus and the good elves, we also have to mention that even at Christmas there is a dark character. This is the Krampus. Have you never heard of him? He is the great unknown, however, he deserves to be known and we are going to introduce him to you. we tell you who is the Krampus: origin and history of this evil character of Christmas. Yes, humorously.

Who is the Krampus?

It is a cartoonish character, with half the body of a goat and the other half the body of a devil. He is quite a terrifying character, in his appearance, well features horns, fangs and lots of dark hair. And, above all, in his actions, because whip the peopleboth children and adults. Although yes, with a curious purpose, and that is that he whips them until they become good people. Isn’t that curious?

The Krampus is something like Santa Claus but in its opposite version, because he does not bring gifts, but whips. And he does not come to bring happiness, but to take children who have misbehaved to the underworld. He arrives with chains and bells and carrying birch sticks to give his lashes with.

Origin of the Krampus

The name of this Christmas demon, “Krampus”, comes from a German word “krampen”, which we can translate as “claw”. Clearly it is a figure that has been imitating features of other characters in Greek mythology. In fact, he is considered to be the son of Hel, the queen of the underworld. He is very reminiscent of fauns and satyrs.

When is the night of the Krampus celebrated?

In Germany, Christmas begins in early December. And is the night before december 6, that is, the same night as Saint Nicholas. And it is that tradition dictates that, when they wake up, children find in their shoe either a gift, or the Krampus rod, depending on whether they have behaved well or badly. Thus, the Germans celebrate two holidays together, the day of Saint Nicholas and Krampusnacht or Krampus night.

How is Krampusnacht celebrated?

We have anticipated that, when coinciding with Saint Nicholas, in the celebration gifts or the rod are received according to the behavior and merits of each one. Now, there are other curious traditions that are related to this Dantesque character. For example, in countries like Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic or Germany itself, it is customary for drunken men are dressed as demons and go through the streets chasing people. It is what is known as the Krampuslaufa race of many Krampus.

What is the symbology of the Krampus?

Krampusnacht is a festival of pagan origin which, as is to be expected with this kind of pagan customs, does not please the Catholic Church very much. In fact, it prohibited its celebration for a long time. It was also banned during World War II. And it is that the Krampus and its party were seen as a celebration of the social democratic groups and this infuriated the fascists.

It is not known for sure why the krampus arises. Although, a possible explanation could be that it is a celebration that aims to reconcile us with our most animal side. Because despite the fact that they have wanted to impose some beliefs and moral limitations on us, deep down in all of us there continue to be some primitive impulses. That is, there is a duality in every human being, so that we all have a good side and a bad side. Why deny it?

It is already common to see in the cinema and on YouTube, the channel that is becoming more and more fashionable among the new generations, series and films related to Krampus. For example, the Grunch makes a good x-ray of this belief of being anti-Santa Claus, or that he behaves and looks like just the opposite and opposite of the good-natured fat old man who dresses in red.

There are countries like Vienna, for example, where the Krampus is very fashionable and is celebrated with honors in the streets, as well as, of course, in Germany. In fact, the festival reaches such an impact that it has been declared by UNESCO non-material cultural heritage. Even in Vienna, a handful of Krampus accompany Saint Nicholas in courting him.

Learn also about the origin and history of Christmas:

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