Friday, December 04, 2009

Krampus... Is That You I Hear Rattling Those Chains?

From For Ellipsis

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!

-Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

Imagine a cold, early December night. You are out for a stroll, when suddenly you hear the distinct rattling of chains. You know you heard them... or did you? You shake your head and continue on with your stroll, chastising yourself for being nothing but a nervous Nelly. After all, there is a big full moon in the sky to light your way, and you have walked in this park before, many times in fact. You can even hear the distant sound of Christmas music wafting from the charming Carousel in the park. There's nothing to worry about, and yet, that nagging feeling remains that someone, or something is watching you!

The air is bitter cold. Why did you even think to take a walk in the woods on this bone-chilling cold late autumn night? Why did this sound like a good idea? Do you even know how far you have walked? A lot of thoughts can pass through your mind when you are out for a walk, and your only companion is solitude. Perhaps it's time to turn back, and head back home for a hot cup of tea to warm your thoughts. As you walk you begin to smile as you hear the Christmas music playing louder, and you hear the sounds of the children laughing. You feel at peace and completely comfortable as you continue along that road back home.

You smile to yourself as you glance up the hill to see the beautiful holiday lights that surround the Carousel. So pretty. What could there possibly be to fear?

Suddenly from behind you hear something running toward you, and you turnaround to come face to face with the Krampus! Your mother always warned you to mind your manners because if you didn't, the Karmpus would appear and thwack you one with his hefty chains, and now he has!With a deep evil laugh, he strikes out at you, striking you on your bum, and without so much as a "Hi, how are ya," makes his way into the darkness!

As you stand there stunned, rubbing your freshly spanked bum, you now know... some legends are true!

Beware of the Krampus on the night of December 5th! The eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas!


From For Ellipsis

Like my little cautionary tale? I hope so. I absolutely love the legend of the Kampus. I came across the it a few years ago, while looking for something new about the holidays. How can you not just thoroughly enjoy a Christmas legend that has just a hint of Halloween to it?

While America doesn't do much about Krampus day, in Europe it is a huge deal. According to Wikipedia, in the town of Schlaming, Styria, over 1200 "Krampus" (actually men dressed as Krampus, from all over Austria), attend a huge holiday gathering in honor of the mischievous fella, and carry with them chains, and sticks, and wave huge cowbells to warn of their approach. His purpose is to punish children who were bad during the year, by stealing their Christmas packages and spanking them on the rear. So, I suppose if you have been a good little boy or girl you have nothing to worry about... right? LOL. One day, I would love to visit Austria so I can see this festival for myself! Doesn't it sound like great fun?

Were you a bad boy or girl this year?

Will the Krampus be showing up at your house?

(Insert the sound of rattling chains here) ;)


Krampus (Wikipedia)

Santa's Not So Little Helper (The Morning News)

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