Krampus is a mythical creature which according to tradition in various part of Europe – especially Austria and Hungary – is believed to accompany St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children.
In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas the tradition also includes birching – corporal punishment with a birch rod – by Krampus, especially of young girls. Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.
There are a few videos on YouTube which give a flavour of Krampus activity, all of which have very bad music, so turn the volume down and observe.
Posted by Glimmung.