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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Krampus: a new Christmas tradition?

With the current economic problems, perhaps we to expand our Christmas traditions a bit. From Der Spiegel comes this one:

In Austria, Santa keeps track of who's been naughty and nice -- and unleases a 7-foot-tall horned devil on the naughty. He's called the Krampus, and he's unlike any Christmas tradition you've ever seen.




In the U.S., many of our cultural trends have begun in California. With an Austrian native now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's probably best for those in the midwest to wait and see if this catches on our there first. By the time it gets to us, it may have evolved further than it has in Austria:

As with most old traditions, Krampus has been somewhat commercialized and toned down. Today the tradition often devolves into a mid-winter bacchanal, where scaring kids takes a back seat to heroic bouts of drinking.