Krampus is a Southern Germanic/Austrian myth/folk lore about a demonic companion of Saint Nicholas, that is believed to have originally been the son of the Norse Goddess of the underworld Hel. Like so many Germanic traditions dealing with the Christmas season like the Christmas tree, Scat porn, beer for kids and concentration camps it was depaganized, bastardized and incorporated by the Catholic church to pull in converts.
The current traditions and stories follow with the idea that the Krampus tags along with Saint Nicholas during the Christmas Season when he's sneaking into kids' houses to take pictures of them when they're on the toilet to punish naughty and wicked children in contrast to Saint Nicholas' rewarding all the good and well behaved children with toys and other desired gifts for remembering to leave their curtains open when they are changing.
Like most things that require reading, a decent attention span, an interest in foreign cultures or anything that may exist outside their cultural comfort zone, most Americunts had no idea that the Krampus even existed until The Venture Brothers did a Christmas special introducing the Krampus as a Christmas figure in their 2004 episode A Very Venture Christmas. Like most new and good ideas that are introduced elsewhere and looking to hide his lack of creativity with his open theft of other people's creativity and ideas, Seth MacFarlane quickly latched onto this brand new, readily available Public Domain character like a hungry Deer Tick and has been sucking it off for all it is worth every Christmas, since 2010, in his American Dad revision of Family Guy until what was a decent idea was destroyed and no one even cared when a Krampus movie was released in 2015.
Die Krampusnacht or The Night Of Krampus usually preceeds The Feast Of Saint Nicholas on the 5th of December in European, Catholic communities. To be inclusive of American traditions and to participate in that great Capitalistic tradition of the greedy Christmas, many have started associating and marketing the Krampus with Santa Claus and started having him visit naughty children on Christmas Eve as Santa's companion so that Christmas Cards, ornaments, ugly seasonal sweaters, figures and toys can be sold at that time of the year when most people throw caution to the wind when it comes to their credit cards and spend just to spend.
During The Night Of The Krampus, the Krampus joins with Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus to visit the homes of children. While Santa brings enough button sized spy cameras to wire every kid's bedroom and bathroom in the world the Krampus carries with him brine soaked switches so he can punish the naughtier children with bare bottomed whippings. For the naughtiest children, the Krampus wears what looks like a golf bag over his shoulder. Inside it is a portal to Hell and the Krampus stuffs the naughtiest children inside it. Some say the Krampus' bag sings with the screams of damned children while others claim that if you were to look down into it you would see children trying desperately to climb their way out, pleading for forgiveness and promising to be good because they know when Krampus returns to his home in hell they will be eaten. In contrast, the mildly bad or slightly misbehaved child might have a favorite toy broken by the Krampus or have rocks or coal added to their stockings. Some have said that the traditional orange that is given out during Christmas may even be replaced with something sour like a lemon. If the child doesn't want to earn a bare bottom whipping the next year, then they must eat the lemon before they open any of their gifts.
Why Have A Demon Companion
In the simplest sense, It's a Yin/Yang, Red Pill/Blue Pill thing. Krampus and Saint Nicholas are meant to represent the balance of all things and serves as a reminder that where there is light, there will always be dark. Where there is night there will be day and other 10th grade, emo, philosophical references. Where Saint Nicholas represents all things that are of G-D and the promise of reward for well behaved children, especially young boys performing well in the church confessional, with toys and sweat treats the Krampus is there to remind children that, in the broader spiritual sense of an omnipotent G-D that there must be a punishment for a misdeed even if it goes unseen.
In comparison, the Americunt equivalent of Santa Claus only goes around offering children candy to get into his sleigh. He has no antithesis. Good children are rewarded and bad children, like a red haired step child are simply ignored. Even the idea of Santa Clause doling out coal to naughty children has fallen out of favor due to the Social Justice Warrior idea that dividing kids into good and bad is exclusionary and all children, no matter how wicked, should be included.
Even modern Christmas movies like Fred Claus suggest that children, no matter how rotten, evil or how many times they've skinned your pets and left them in your mailbox to find - should be given gifts and rewarded for the nice kid they might have inside or else they could grow up to be Seriel Killers, A Rapist, School Shooters or all around worthless pieces of shit.
Jólakötturinn or the Yule Cat is the Krampus' pet cat and his very own version of Ceiling Cat in that it is always watching you.
Said to be a sister of Fenris Wolf in Norse Mythology and a daughter of Loki, Jólakötturinn or the Yule Cat is monstrous in proportions and it is said that the tallest oak tree top can barely scrape its belly.
The Yule Cat was originally said to devour lazy farmers who hadn't finished processing their autumn wool and thus would have no new clothes to wear for Christmas Mass. In more modern times, the Yule Cat is used to threaten lazy children into completing their chores during the Christmas season, telling them the Yule Cat is watching them and will eat them after playing with them like a mouse if their chores are not completed before their bed time.
Krampus is part of a series on
Visit the Trolls Portal for complete coverage.