The Legend of Krampus – History Folklore, Krampus in the 21st Century
Gruss Vom Krampus (greetings from Krampus)
The ancient legend of the Krampus dates back to the 11th century and in the modern world, not too many people know of this satyr-like devilish beast. But today in the 21th century, the Krampus and the legend surrounding this demon-like creature has made a huge comeback through pop culture, images, books, greeting cards and Krampus merchandise.
In European folklore, the Krampus is Nikolaus’s dark servant. A hairy, horned, supernatural beast whose, cloven hooves, pointed ears and long slithering red tongue gave misbehavers the creeps. Krampus terrorized the bad until they promised to be good. Some he spanked, others he whipped with birch switches. Some he shackled in rusty chains. Then they were stuffed into his large wooden basket, carted away, and hurled into the fiery flames of hell.
As Nikolaus traveled door to door doling out treats and gifts to those who had been good all year long, those who behaved badly were dealt with by the Krampus.
The name Krampus (pronounced crump-us) is the German name Krampen, meaning “claw”, said to be the son of Hel, bloodline of the great Loki, in Norse mythology. The Krampus also shares characteristics with fauns (half man, half goat), satyrs (half man, half horse) and other demonic creatures associated with Greek mythology.
The folklore surrounding the Krampus has an association with witches, particularly because the legend of Krampus spans back to pre-Christian pagan times. There is also a referenced association with the Horned God. As well, birch, from which the switches were made to whip and hit the children, is considered one of Wicca’s Nine Sacred Woods. Birch is known for it’s connection to the spirit world and the dead, and played a role in pre-Christian pagan ritual rites. Also the ringing of bells (sometimes attached to the chains) and lighting of bonfires are indicative to pagan and Wicca traditions.
Krampus is usually always depicted in red because of his Christian association with the devil. His tongue is always a slithering red. In several parts of Europe such as Germany, Hungary and Italy, Krampus is celebrated on Krampunsnacht (Krampus Night) which takes place December 5th proceeding St. Nikolaus Day on the 6th. It is customary for men to dress as the Krampus and run around terrorizing and spooking children on the streets and in the villages. On this night, the women are invited to dress as Frau Perchta, a Germanic goddess who is said to be similar in feminine form to the Krampus aspect. The Norse aspect of the goddess Perchta is said to be associated with Freyja (Frig, Freya), the goddess of the Valkyries, a master of magic and witchcraft.
With the debut of the new Krampus movie due to be released December 4, 2015 (just in time for Krampusnacht “Krampus Night” which takes place on the 5th), I’m sure we will be seeing, hearing and learning more about Krampus in the years to come.
This is kinda cool. White Magick Alchemy was contacted by Universal Studios to be a part of a new campaign piece for the 2015 movie titled “The Legend of Krampus”. The clip is short and our appearance lightning fast, but at least they wanted to include us. The campaign features the pop culture references of Krampus through clips and photographs. Why WMA? They chose the top selling Krampus merchandise. We were the first to create the first ever Krampus Candles which have been a huge hit worldwide. Our popular Gruss Vom Krampus (greetings from Krampus) Candles, are traditionally given mostly to misbehaving and naughty adults as novelty gifts during the holiday season. The flame of the candle represents the fiery underworld, which makes our Krampus Candles a really cool gift. You can find them here: http://bit.ly/1TD7GTe
I totally dig this depiction of the Krampus. It’s one of my favorite images of how in my mind, Krampus is perceived. So I collaborated with author/artist Brom and in 2012 debuted the “Krampus the Yule Lord Candle Collection”. As you can see by the image above, Brom captures the darker evil side of the Krampus, the Yule Lord, embracing that old world folklore, reminding us that it is always better to be good than bad. BROM’s book entitled “KRAMPUS the Yule Lord” is a must read for all Krampus lovers. And what better way to unravel this spine tingling holiday horror novel but encompassed in walls of dark illumination with one of our Krampus Candles. Each candle scented with dark earthly essences of Amber Sandalwood & Dragons Blood.
So if you know someone who has been naughty, give the gift of the Krampus – You can find our Krampus Candles here: http://bit.ly/1TD7GTe
There is also a ton of cool Krampus merchandise out there too! From flame lit candles to tee-shirts, statuary, tree ornaments and more. One of my favorite shops that makes handmade Krampus statuary and ornaments is Dellemorte & Co.
Yule blessings everyone,
White Magick Alchemy/National Geographic/Lee Sayer/Sean Gallup/Brom