Krampus Festival

On December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day, Salzburg, Austria runs numerous Krampus festivals. Crafters from all over spend countless hours building and designing costumes, floats, crafts, and all manner of Krampus-related things.

As to the origin of Krampus, in short, early in December, any children that St. Nicholas deemed naughty would be visited by his companion, Krampus. Krampus, who is half-man and half-goat, looks everything like the devil. The celebrations of the winter solstice were where Krampus began. but then it became part of Christian traditions. St. Nicholas would visit and reward children on December 5th or 6th. If you were bad, Krampus would visit you instead. So Austria usually celebrates Krampus with festivals on those dates.

Krampus would be seen running through the streets during Krampuslauf, which means “Krampus run”. Austrian men (mostly drunk) run around and scare kids during this festival.

Now festivals and events of Krampus are all over the country and on various dates. There’s a Krampusfest in Loredo, Texas. A Krampus Ball in Salem, Oregon. And Krampusnacht was in Detroit as of 2021 and will hopefully return. But Austria takes it to the next level. This gallery shows all the terrifying Krampus craftsmanship.


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