On the Fifth Day of Creepmas...Krampusnacht

"Who’s Krampus, you ask? He’s the half-man, half-goat who comes around every year to chase naughty children and maybe even drag them to hell. European versions of St. Nicholas have long had scary counterparts like Belsnickle and Knecht Ruprecht who dole out punishment. Krampus is one such character who comes from folklore in Austria’s Alpine region, where he’s been frightening children and amusing adults for hundreds of years." ~ History.com

"December 5 is Krampusnacht, when Krampus reigns. In the real world, people might attend Krampus balls, or young men from the local Krampusgruppe might don carved wooden masks, cowbells, chains, and elaborate costumes to run through town in a Krampuslauf (Krampus run), frightening and sometimes beating bystanders. According to legend, Krampus will spend the night visiting each house. He might leave bundles of sticks for bad children—or he might just hit them with the sticks instead. He might toss them into a sack or basket on his back and then throw it in a stream, or he might straight-up take them to hell.The next day, though, is Nikolastaug, St. Nicholas' Day—the same St. Nicholas whose Dutch name, Sinterklass, evolved into “Santa Claus.” In other words, it’s time for presents for all the little girls and boys … that is, all the ones who haven’t already been beaten, damned, or drowned." ~MentalFloss.com

Krampusnacht is "a holiday that feels a lot more like Halloween than Christmas. On Krampusnacht, December 5th, men dressed as Krampus drink a bunch of alcohol, run through the streets, and frighten children. Often, they chase delinquent children around and hit them with sticks." ~ HistoryThings.com

"Now, it seems that Krampus has taken on a life of his own–there are Krampus cards and ornaments, books and graphic novels, and even a feature film. Krampus has actually become a pop culture mainstay, which is a bit odd, if you think about it. He can be seen in a G4 commercial, appearing in the night to shove Christmas carolers out of his way, and has shown up in episodes of Scooby Doo, American Housewife, and Lost Girl. In a third-season episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean encounter the Krampus but later learn he's not real, and the character they're dealing with is really a Pagan god. In print, Gerald Brom's novel Krampus: The Yule Lord takes place in the mountains of West Virginia, and the CarnEvil video game includes Krampus as one of the bosses." ~ LearnReligions.com

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