Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for September
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

A scary week for children as Krampus goes on the hunt

By Maddy French

Feeling scared is not something most children would associate with Christmastime, but in early December an evil Christmas spirit called Krampus gives Austrian children a very good reason to be wary.

A figure from old Germanic folklore, Krampus is a side-kick of the generous present-giving St Nicholas. But rather than a cuddly reindeer or friendly elf, Krampus is not something children want to come across on a dark wintry evening. Sent by St Nicholas to punish naughty children, Krampus can normally be found sporting demonic horns or antlers on top of a gruesome, hairy and goat-like figure. In the first week of December he spends the nights scouring towns for children who he can catch and beat with branches from a birch tree, like a character straight out of a Brothers Grimm tale.

Although Krampusnacht formally lands on 5 December, when Krampus is said to accompany St Nicholas to households to reward good children and punish the naughty, processions of men dressed up in scary cloven-hoofed costumes through towns in Austria and other Alpine regions have been happening all week. As well as the obligatory frightening of children, Krampusnachts also usually involve copious amounts of drinking and debauchery for the adults and can carry on late into the night.

At various times in history, Krampus festivities have been met with controversy and protest. Unpopular with the Catholic Church, efforts to stamp out celebrations of the devil like goat figure were made in the Roman Catholic inquisition period. Later in the 20th Century, Krampus festivities were banned by Chancellor Dollfuss after the Austrian Civil War and as recent as 2006, an Austrian child psychologist argued the violence and demonic imagery associated with Krampus celebrations was not suitable for children and there should be a ban on Krampus.

Despite protestations, Krampus very much lives on but that doesn't mean it's all bad news for misbehaving children: an abundance of chocolate Krampus figures, sweets and cards in the shops around this time of year means there is still a chance for even the naughtiest of kids to get a treat.

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Tag cloud:
Krampusnacht  inquisition  Catholic  Christmastime  efforts  evil  children  Austrian  celebrations  Unpopular  goat  20th  Nicholas  associate  shops  Krampus  festivities  Roman  normally  Church

Latest News

 

Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.

Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.

Three Family Members Dead In Well Tragedy
A mother has lost her husband, her pregnant daughter and her son-in-law after a tragic accident where one of them fell into a well and the other two died while trying to carry out a failed rescue.

Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.

Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning in a swimming pool.

Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.

Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.

Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.

Japanese Pervert Planned Natascha Kampusch Style Kidnap
A Japanese man inspired by Austrian pervert Wolfgang Priklopil kidnapped a 10-year-old girl and kept her in a purpose-built cellar where he planned to train her to become the perfect wife.

German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid
A portly hiker dressed in traditional Lederhosen was rescued after he yodeled for help after getting stuck for three hours in a cattle grid.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers