I did warn you all last week that the holiday season would bring with it lots and lots of Krampus coverage, you will remember. And so it does. The Krampus mania is underway. In a couple’a weeks I’m going to be visiting a Krampus-themed haunted attraction, good Lord willin’ and the Creek don’t rise. (The word “Creek” should always be capitalized when you’re using this expression, as it refers not to a body of water but to the Creek Indian Nation.) And Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night, is almost upon us! By the time you are reading this, it will *be* upon us!
Krampusnacht falls on the night of December 5th. Why is that? Because December 6th is the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas. But why is *that*? It’s because December 6th is the day on which Nicholas died. The proximity of this date to Christmas is why Nicholas became associated with the holiday in the first place, and why today we have Santa Claus jumping down chimneys. In Germanic countries, the old pagan gods were stubborn about giving way to Christianity. Some of them survived by taking on new forms. Krampus, for example, was given a job: he would serve as St. Nicholas’s assistant. While jolly old Saint Nick handled the task of rewarding well-behaved children, Krampus would take care of punishing the naughty ones.
Krampusnacht, then, is celebrated on the night before Saint Nicholas Day. Today Krampusnacht is not celebrated exclusively on December 5th but sometimes on nights that fall close to that date. Typically there are parades, and the celebration continues to grow. Each year, Krampus becomes a little more popular.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!