Krampus combines many Pagan figures and traditions. In Bavaria today, Krampus is a terrifying half goat, half demon figure sporting a leather or wood mask, thick furs, and haunting cowbells. The Krampus would traditionally punish or reward children based on the Christian “bad vs. good” moral model. Nowadays, the Krampus act as companions to St. Nicholas, visiting towns on the 5th & 6th of December. Particular to Berchtesgaden, the Buttenmandl’ dress up in specially grown hay costumes, running house to house, frightening naughty children and passersby alike. The Buttenmandl’, along with the Krampus, roam the streets beating bystanders with thick braided switches. This thrilling yet threatening art of driving out evil is an insane cultural event not to be missed. You too may be deemed naughty, fit for a lashing!
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