CONTRIBUTED BY ALEXIS TUCKER
As the sun was setting and a fog rolled over the Bavarian forest, we anticipated the Krampus fire show that we had been dying to see for such a long time. Krampus has gained popularity in America with the release of the movie, but he originated in Europe.
Krampus didn’t like it that I smiled at him so he grabbed my face turning it from side to side and whipped my legs with his chains. I ended up standing next to one of my students as well, whom Krampus continuously tried to intimidate. Poor girl was holding onto my leg and had her face buried in my jacket. Since she is a good girl, at the end of the show one of the demons handed her an angel charm.
This traveling show performs at Christmas Markets as a reminder to children to be good or else…
The Krampus Story
Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, means claw. Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas. According to folklore, Krampus appears in towns the night before December 6, known as Krampusnacht (Krampus Night).
December 6 is Nikolaustag (St. Nicholas Day) when children look outside their door to see if the shoe they’d left out the night before contains presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior). On the other hand, Krampus punishes the naughty children, swatting them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them, in baskets, to an underground hell.
The next time someone is doing something that Santa would disapprove of just remind them that Krampus knows when they’re naughty, when they’re nice and when they’re home alone.
Tips For Your Trip:
Below is information about the troupe that performed the Krampus fire show we attended, named Oberpfalz Schlossteufeln (Oberpfalz is an area of Germany and Schlossteuflen means castle devils). Different shows pop up all over Germany, particularly Bavaria, through out the holiday season.
One show remains this season, but they’ll be back next season. Look for them in Weiden on January 5, 2016 around 1700. We suggest you arrive at least an hour or you will be stuck in the back.
Note: Alexis originally published this article on her website, then shared it with Germany Ja as well!