The Many Faces of KRAMPUS


Many people assume that the word “Santa” comes
from the word “Saint” – as he is supposed to be
contrived from the origin known as Saint Nicholas.

But where does the “Claus” come from.


Where does the “Claus” (Claws) come from ?

The answer lies in the mythological legends that surround
the many Christmas traditions that have been adopted from
the many countries around the world.

These legends often have a dark and sinister beginning –
but have been converted by Christendom into benign-type
play fun – by those who chose to continue the Saturnalia
Celebrations, under the guise of being Christ’s Birthday.

And Claus (Claws) is just another one of those conversions.

Popular in the Alpine regions centuries ago,
Krampus (old High German for “claw”) is represented
by a black, horned, Gene-Simmons length-tongued,
demon looking sadist who accompanies Saint Nicholas
on his various travels.
With Krampus handling all the punishment,
Santa is free to oversee his elf factories
and deliver joy to the worthy.

The practice of wearing masks and scaring people
around the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21-25) was an
ancient one for Slavic and Germanic folks,
and some scholars feel this tradition carried
over into the modern form of Krampus when some
in the area converted to Christianity.

While the tradition was mainly regionalized,
Krampus had a world-wide resurgence in the 1800s
thanks in part to greeting cards that bared his

In Austria, Germany, and other central and north
Europe regions, the figure of Krampus became a
focus of attention, with thousands of compelling
postcards designed and printed for season’s
greetings, many emblazoned with “Grüß Vom Krampus”
meaning – (Greeting from Krampus). The peak of the
Krampus card craze was from the turn of the century
to the beginning of WWI in 1914.

By the late 1800s, the Churches of Christendom
decided Krampus was too wild for their tastes, and Krampus
was removed from their Christmas celebrations.

However, it seems Krampus is making a recent comeback.
Amused by the horrifically graphic drawings of the
1800s postcards, Krampus clubs have begun to spring
up in the Austria/Germany area to rekindle this
Christmas tradition. The Austrian state of Salzburg
alone has 180 Krampus clubs, more than half set up
since 1990, according to a recent National Geographic

Over the decades Santa Claus seems to have lost his
punishing edge.  The only faint recall we have to the
sordid past of Christmas is the Christmas jingle that
some still sing about how children had “better not
shout, and you better not cry, better not pout, I’m
telling you why – because Santa is coming to town and
is going to punish all naughty children.

Krampus has even begun to have popularity in the United
states.  This is so bizarre, because Krampus had
never been a U.S. feature of Christmas – but only a
remnant of Satanic folklore in Nordic European Countries.
Nevertheless – there are Krampus Celebrations popping
up all around America recently even in cities like
New York City and San Francisco.

Keep your eyes open – and you will see that it will
become more and more obvious that Christmas was never
a Christian holiday and never had anything to do with
Christ.  Not then and Not now.  Christ was NOT born
in December, Early Christians and Jews condemned
Birthday celebrations as being heathen and wrong.
None of the Apostles or early Christians ever observed
December as anything, but warned each other to avoid
Holly wreaths, and evergreen decorations in their home,
lest they be identified with the pagans who worshipped
their sun-gods on the Saturnalia at the Winter Solstice
of December 25th.

Krampus, shopping, santa, and tree worship are quickly
taking over this ancient demonic holiday in subtle ways
that the majority of people in the world are aware of,
but just don’t care -because the reason for the season
is “Pleasure” and not Christ.

Claus (Claws) – comes from Krampus

Krampus – “The word Krampus originates from
the Old High German word for CLAW (Krampen).”
-Paganism in the Eastern Alps
Article; “Krampus”
Answers. com

“Krampus is the survivor of a pagan tradition
that preceded Christianity and the word Krampus
originates from the Old High German word for
CLAW  (Krampen).”
– Christmas in Salzburg and Linz 2005
Austria Travelers
Special Interest Tours in Austria


Krampus – Santa’s Evil Helper

Krampus – Santa’s Evil Helper

Krampus – Santa’s Evil Helper

“In Hungary, there are two key Christmas figures:
there is Mikulás (St. Nick) and Krampusz.
St. Nick is a nice-ish guy who dresses in
either red or white and gives out candies or
presents. He also has a sidekick named Krampusz
who punishes bad children by beating them or
taking them away. It’s interesting to see that
Hungarians have not done away with badness
completely as has been done in North America.
Also, it’s still possible to suggest in public
that a bad child might get beaten (or taken away)
which, as we know, is not possible in Canada.
The Krampus is one of those quirky survivors
of a pagan tradition that preceded Christianity,
much like Santa himself. Popular to this day in
Austria and Eastern Europe, the Krampus was
initially a side note to the St. Nicholas story,
a goat-faced dark figure who accompanied St. Nick
on his December gift-giving tours. St. Nicholas
and Krampus would come to the houses together;
Nicholas gave the children presents and Krampus
beat them in a sort of good-cop bad-cop way
Santa Claus is the Christianization of a few
traditional winter solstice figures, who morphed
into St. Nicholas after the Catholics swarmed into
Austria. Santa was most heavily influenced by the
Norse god Thor, who had a long white beard and
cheerfully rode a flying chariot. The enemy of
good in Norse mythology was Loki, a figure usually
depicted as falling somewhere in the range between
Satan himself and Carrot Top. Krampus is the
new Loki.”
— The National Post, a Canadian newspaper,
ran this intertwined history of Krampus
and Santa Claus.

“That the terms Santa and Satan equal
each other by exchanging only one letter
suggests that they are closely related
as it happens often with great antagonists.”
-Santa´s Origin
RKDN; Real Knowledge Data Network

“I’ve just come back from a holiday in Vienna,
and in that beautiful city the windows of the
sumptuous confectioners’ shops are full of
chocolate Santas  – and, surprisingly, they
also have chocolate demons.  In folk-lore from
that part of Austria, a demon called Krampus
is supposed to go around with Santa.
Instead of bringing a sack, full of presents
for good little children, Krampus brings a
disappointing sackful of coal for the naughty ones.
And the naughtiest of them all get carried away
in Krampus’s sack, never to be seen again.
The story makes Viennese children behave
themselves this time of year, anyway.”
-BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 6 December 2002

“He might look like Satan but he is Krampus.
Sometimes seen as Santa’s helper, he is the
Christmas hardass. He is the bad cop to
Santa’s good cop. You’ll be wishing for coal
in your stocking if this guy finds out you’ve
been naughty. Krampus doesn’t fool around.
He’ll beat you, eat you and defeat you.
So kids, on Christmas Eve, when you hear
those hooves scraping upon your roof, beware.
They might not belong to happy little reindeer
and a fat old elf. Oh no. They might belong
to Krampus himself.”
– The Grumpy Owl; An Oz Factory
Thursday, December 08, 2005

“New to this year’s So Many Santas exhibit
is the Krampus, a kind of satanic Santa sidekick
from Austria. Tradition dictates that St. Nikolaus
went to the houses to visit good children and
give them small presents such as fruits and sweets.
St. Nikolaus was accompanied by Krampus, a horned,
troll-like associate who punished wicked kids
by hitting them with his stick, or even tossing
the bad kids into the sack on his back, to carry
them off to hell. Since the Krampusnacht
(Krampus night) is supposed to illustrate
the darker side of Christmas festivities,
being good for goodness’ sake seems like the
smart thing for Austrian kids. The Krampus craze
isn’t solely confined to Austria, however;
he also goes by various names and incarnations
around Europe, such as the shaggy horned monster
in Bavaria known as the Klaubauf.”
Syracuse New Times;  Lights on the Lake
The Central New York Alternative
Nicks at Night
Yule love the So Many Santas exhibit
at Sainte Marie
By Erin Harleman and Molly English

“According to Owls Head artisan Janie Garlow,
the grimmer side of the yuletide is precisely
what Onondaga County Parks had in mind.
“They told us they wanted the dark side
of Christmas.”  The artists wanted to shy away
from the more stereotyped visual traits of the devil,
Garlow says, “We tried to find something a little
more palatable to everyone.” After extensive
research at the library and on the Internet,
Garlow and Mead came up with their Krampus
conception, which features a 20-inch-high mask,
sculpted with polymer clay and dressed in fur,
and adorned with horns, fangs and a long,
red tongue that would be the envy of Kiss rocker
Gene Simmons.”
–Syracuse New Times;  Lights on the Lake
The Central New York Alternative
Nicks at Night
Yule love the So Many Santas exhibit
at Sainte Marie
By Erin Harleman and Molly English

“I think it’s safe to assume that not many
of my fellow Americans associate Christmas
with Krampus. Who’s Krampus, you ask?
Why, the fur-covered devil who travels with
St. Nick of course. That’s right, in many
Christmas traditions, Kris Kringle travels
around the world with a villainous demon
as a sidekick. Thankfully, the demon is chained
to stop him from devouring little children.
In addition to Santa’s underworld partner,
he’s got – a buddy named Ruprecht who is
most popular in Germany.  He goes along for
the ride to beat young boys and girls with a rod
if they misbehave. Kind of changes the meaning of
being good for goodness’ sake.  Did I mention
that Santa also travels with a serial killer?
In France at least. Pere Fouettard was a butcher
who murdered three children and is sentenced to
follow St. Nick as punishment. Ah, feel the
Christmas magic…”
-Complete Newbie; by Kenneth Marden
The Krampus Who Stole Christmas
Sunday December 11th, 2005

In Austria, the figure is known as Krampus,
and is possibly the darkest figure of the lot.
He is a furry, long-tongued creature sporting
an enormous pair of goat’s horns, making him
an obvious Pan/Satan figure. He whips children
with a switch, or puts them in a basket on his
back and carries them to away. He has resonances
in an ancient Germanic legend, which tells a story
of a holy man and a demon. The demon terrorized
the land by slithering down chimneys at night,
slaughtering children — disemboweling them,
stuffing them up the flue, or taking them away
in a sack. The holy man tricked the demon and
caught it with magical shackles, and thereafter
forced it to obey his orders. Nowadays the holy
man has been associated with Santa, and the demon
with the Krampus.

“A cottage industry in Austria from Victorian times
through the present has been the production of
Krampus postcards to commemorate the holiday season.
These tend to feature Krampus and his prodigious
tongue assailing various Betti Page-type pinup girls
or even pure-hearted Austrian housefraus with his
lecherous advances.”

Krampus is a popular figure in Austria,
having his own night on December 5th.
Children participate in Krampus runs,
where they dress in black rags and chains,
and terrorize people on the streets and the
sledding hills. Among adults, “Krampusnacht”
has become associated with drinking and excess,
with many people holding parties. At some point
people dressed as Krampus will enter and attack
the partygoers… if anybody’s still sober enough
to notice. Finally, Krampus postcards are popular
at that time. Particularly popular are ones showing
the Krampus leering at young women — as he is a
symbol of lust and lechery as well as everything

What have we learnt from all this study of Santa?

Well, that Santa is merely the most modern
incarnation of a figure who appears to be older
than written records can trace; a figure who has
left widespread and highly variant figures all over
Europe and beyond. He predates his namesake
St. Nicholas for sure, he predates Christianity,
and he predates Coca Cola by a long way.
So if anybody tells you that Santa was invented
by the Coca Cola company in the 20th century,
you can now quite thoroughly correct them!


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