|c'mon...just look at him!|
So Why Krampus? The Krampus legend mostly crops up in Germanic and Northern European countries, and most often paired with Saint Nikolas. Saint Nikolas would reward "Nice" children with toys and candy. The Krampus, however, in the original legends, would kidnap the "Naughty", stuff them in his sack, take them to his cave, and eat them. In the original pre-Christian legends, he was associated with the barbarian horned-god of witch covens, and ran free every Winter festival. With the rise in popularity of St. Nick during the Middle Ages, Christianity could not suppress the legend, so the church incorporated him into the Christmas pageantry (although now sporting chains and irons). Slovakia and Austria still boast incredible Krampusnacht festivals every 5th of December, the eve of the feast day of St. Nikolas.
So that is my pick for ThoughtBalloon's annual Christmas Week. If you have a Krampus story to tell, please share it in the comments below. Make it big, and boisterous, and legendary...
Like Grampa Joe.