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Map showing the local name of St. Nicholas's companion in various German-speaking regions (Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, plus some border regions of Belgium and Italy). Pink is Krampus.
Krampus riding with a boy on a horse, with his birch, a fruit basket and his chains.


Externally hosted image on Handprints: Drawings Gallery #60


Externally hosted image on Handprints: Drawings Gallery #184
Krampus spanking a child, from American Dad: Season 9, Episode 8 "Minstrel Krampus" (15 Dec. 2013).


Externally hosted image on Handprints: Drawings Gallery #251
Sculpture of Krampus spanking a girl

Krampus is a mythical creature. In various regions of the world – especially Austria, Hungary and parts of Bavaria (Germany) – it is believed that Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children. Krampus is in his role similar to Knecht Ruprecht or Schmutzli, but not in his appearance, which is that of a demon or devil rather than a human. He also appears to be more of a character who visits people independent from St. Nicholas.

The Hungarian spelling of his name is Krampusz. In Slovenia, he is known as Parkelj.


Krampus is usually represented by a dark, furry, incubus-like creature (resembling a demon or devil), with horns, pointy ears, a tail, satyr/goat-like legs with hoofs (or one leg with a foot and one leg with a hoof), and a very long red tongue. He usually doesn't have wings. His other typical attributes are a chain he is wearing on his wrists, sometimes an iron bell, sometimes a pannier or bucket, and almost always, a birch. The birch is used to punish and/or to threaten naughty children. The pannier is for taking the naughtiest girls and boys away. See the main article Christmas and spanking.

As a character, Krampus seems to be mainly based on the devil: In traditional Christian faith, when a human is sinful, they might go to hell after death and be punished there for their sins. Krampus represents a milder form of that; he threatens and punishes children as a warning and reminder that continued sinful behaviour may lead one day to that ultimate of horrors.


See also[edit]


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Krampus. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.