Well Christmas is here tonight and we are worried that Grus vom Krampus might visit this house.
Well....Not literally anyway.
What an interesting story and tradition.
What horror for children that grew up with the fear of Krampus!
Even I still get creeped out by the Krampus..
"you better be good, you better be nice"...etc
In the Netherlands (where my family hails from) the Dutch have a similar companion to Saint Nicolas called "Black Peter"which is not so manevolent..or scary.
Krampus is a bound devil who escorts the benevolent Saint Nikolo on the eve of his day ~ Nikolo tests the children with their Catechism and good behavior.
If they pass he gives gifts and treats. If they fail, Krampus is set loose to deal with these bad children; worse than lumps of coal & rotten potatoes, he may also use a switch of twigs to beat them and molests the bad children in other ways... giving them a taste of Hell to come.
He comes disguised as the sinister farm hand or servant named Ruprecht in Lutheran lands, because Martin Luther tried to squelch demon superstitions... although his name still harkens to the running demons of the 12 wild nights of winter.
On the eve of Saint Nikolo's Day (December 5th) children are put to bed and warned of their peril. They may avoid a direct visit by leaving shoes outside the door. If they sleep soundly, they will not have to deal with the test, and in the morning of St Nikolo's Day (December 6th) they will find either treats & small gifts in their shoes, or a switch, lump of coal, or rotten potatoes. Parents are expected to use the switch on those children so designated as having been really bad. Perhaps they can heed the warning and behave better until Christmas when the Christ child brings gifts.
It sure as hell didn't work on me otherwise there would be no ranty drunks blog :)
I stare the krampus in the eyes and say "stuff you demon"...
Sometimes you have to be naughty to be nice :)
Maybe more of us need to.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.