Happy Krampusnacht to all!
What is Krampusnacht you may ask? Why is there a scary creature to scare little children at Christmas time.
In German the word, krampen means claw. The word nacht means night. Put those two words together and we have Krampusnacht! A night, December 5th, where a creature is said to punish naughty children by whipping them. Pretty scary stuff!
Krampus is a horned creature in Central European folklore, described as “half-goat, half-demon”, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved. It is basically the opposite of the Santa Claus. Krampus was popular in Germany until the Catholic churches forbid it being celebrated. Nobody knows for certain where or when Krampus started, but it is believed to be in pre-Christian times.
Despite the Catholic church trying to stop Krampus from being celebrated, it caught on and has spread to many countries.
But take heart, don’t really scare your children with Krampus. Make sure they know it’s only folklore should they hear of it.