Have you heard of the Krampus or seen one? Admittedly, he is not the nicest and most pleasant contemporary now. This demonic figure, with ornate, expressive mask, horns and shaggy goat fur is really scary to look at.
Like many demonic figures, the Krampus dates back to pre-Christian times. In many regions, the figure has merged with the Perchten custom. In some places it has also taken the place of Knecht Ruprecht, who in many places accompanies St. Nicholas. Here in South Tyrol, the Krampus is now a phenomenon in its own right, which both scares and fascinates many people.
In the Maranatha Nativity Museum in Luttach there is a particularly impressive collection of Krampus, devil and witch masks to marvel at.
The Krampus runs in South Tyrol
On the evening of December 5, large and small Krampus runs take place throughout South Tyrol, where the Krampusse, Tuifl, Perchten and witches do their mischief. With elaborately designed floats, pyrotechnics, show interludes and loud music make the whole thing an impressive spectacle. The oldest Krampuslauf is the one in Dobbiaco. Whether it is also the scariest, just take a look for yourself:
Things get friendlier for us on St. Nicholas Day. At least for those who have been good throughout the year. Just like us!