The Krampus (old German staples, claw, or from the Vienna area, where over Austria, today in many dialects something lifeless, Verblühtes, withered or Dried up is called -Krampas, Krempn or Krampn). In Alpine Tradition and in parts of Croatia and in Hungary the Krampus is an Atrocity accompanied by St. Nicholas.
During the Inquisition originally spread throughout Austria Krampus custom was banned because it was anyone allowed to dress up as a diabolical figure. Those who still dare to rebel against this ban was punishable by death.
In many remote locations, this custom was nevertheless continued.
There are many names for the Krampus … in the Bavarian Alpine foothills under the name „Kramperl “ in the Styrian Salzkammergut called“ Miglo „; and in South Tyrol partially under the name „Tuifl“.
The Krampus is similar in function to the „Knecht Rupprecht“. Between the two figures there are some differences, for example, occur Krampusse mostly in larger groups. Especially in the Tyrolean lowlands, in the Province of Salzburg and the Austrian Salzkammergut the group of Nicholas, Krampus and Körberlträger is designated (or Waldmann) as „Pass“. In a few areas of Körberlträger is replaced by the Mohr.
Mid-17th century evolved from the monastic schools (boys bishop solid) of contemplation custom. While Naughty be punished, rewarded and checks of St. Nicholas, accompanied by devils, animal masks (Habergeiß) and bogies, the children. It is about the eternal symbolic exchange and counterplay of good and evil.
The Krampus (Klaubauf) was a bogey with blackened face in the 19th 20 century. Naughty children was threatened that he „aufklaubte“ to beat them.
„If you are not brave is to you the Krampus and not Santa Claus“! This is in many places threatened the children today so they have again obediently.
The Krampus was always shown as it could be terrible not imagine people in the appropriate time and in its appearance changed constantly. Krampus masks with snorkels and many other fearsome forms have caused. To illustrate that it was created by man, he should have fangs and yet human traits. he got the horns only by a later epoch. The evil spirits are expelled from Krampus by various utensils. Originally produced by birch branches, and with a red drawstring, the Krampusrute is a fertility symbol. The birch as a symbol of the beginning of life (even in the winter months wearing birch buds) and as a symbol of the blood is the red ribbon. For those who had to endure the painful blow, brought a streak with a rod Happiness and fertility.
Today the Krampus occurs often with the Ross-tail in place of the rod. This actually comes from the Perchten custom. In recent years, this is but next to the cow’s tail, the rattling chain and the Bells, increasingly see the Krampus.
Today there are many villages and towns Krampus processions. To loud noise, pull disguised through the streets and scare passers-by. Here also the rod is used. In rural areas there are mostly members of Customs associations or other voluntary associations of the community who dress up and get this tradition alive.
When „Kramperltratzn“ or „Kramperstauben“ the children of the area make a dare it without being caught or beaten to irritate the Krampus ( „tratzn“).
Krampustag is the 5th of December. The feast of St. Nicholas falls on December 6. However, it appears both figures, usually the evening of 5 December (in certain regions of Austria they appear together on 6 December).