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Our December Monthly Monster: Krampus

It twas the night before Saint Nicolas Day and all through the house… Not a creature was stirring because Krampus was wandering about. Yes we are talking about Everyone’s favorite Christmas Monster Krampus. Krampus isn't exactly the stuff of dreams: Bearing horns, dark hair, fangs, and a long tongue, this anti-St. Nicholas comes with a chain and bells that he whips around, along with a bundle of birch sticks meant to swat naughty children. He then stuffs those children in his sack and hauls them to the underworld.

The legend of Krampus is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, leave it to the Germans to make Christmas Horrifying. Anyway, in Germany Christmas celebrations begin in early December. Krampus was a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, on the hand was not much into rewarding.

Krampus's name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, and is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.

During World War II the Nazis forbade any mention or celebrations involving Krampus. However, the Monster seems to have made a comeback. Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and even the United States have Krampus Runs which normally take place on December 5th the day before Saint Nicolas Day which is December 6th. So as you celebrate this holiday season, Be careful because those hoofs you hear on your roof top might not belong to Rudolph and his friends, but that of Krampus coming to stuff you in his sack.

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