Monday, December 3, 2012

What do we do with Krampus?

I slept like the dead last night (no pun intended) so I decided to get up early and continue what has tuned into my history lesson on the Krampus while the early morning tea is brewing.

Now that St. Nicholas had a new side-kick, the church really needed to present him in an appropriate light.

First, what should be look like?  Krampus was the inferior pagan companion to the superior christian St. Nicholas.  Originally he had been depicted as very animalistic with horns and shaggy fur but over time he developed more devilish horns and cloven hoofs.  Some images even depict him as the devil himself.

He was also given rusty chains to carry to show his servitude to St. Nicholas.  The only remnants of his ‘nature spirit’ beginnings were the bundles or switches he carried with him and his bells used to chase off the sting of winter. 

Next, he needed a purpose - a reason he was hanging around with a Saint.  If St. Nicholas was the well respected and generous figure who rewarded good children, it seemed logical that this less-than-christian beast would be saddled with all the not-so-christian acting children.  So the dark companion of St. Nicholas took on the task of punishing the naughty ankle-biters.  He did this by leaving them rocks and coal as presents and if they were really rotten, he was known to swat them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them away.

Oh dear, I have to get back at it. 

Sorry to cut it short today but Mr. Fleam has company coming over this evening and I have to get everything in order.

 I will pick back up tomorrow.  I promise I am almost done.


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