Have Yourself a Scary Little Krampus


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By Eric Molinsky. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The imagery of Christmas in most Western countries is of pure wholesomeness with Santa Claus or St. Nicholas, presents, candy, lights, etc. But in central Europe, there is another figure in the mix, the horned devilish-looking character called Krampus, who doles out punishment if you’re naughty instead of nice. I talk with Jules Linner and Christina Albert about why it was important for them as children to believe in St Nick’s dark companion. Krampus event organizer and author Al Ridenour, along with cultural anthropologist Matthäus Rest, explain the history of Krampus, and why he’s still an important part of German and Austrian culture today.

Here's the link to Al’s book “The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil,” and Al’s podcast Bone and Sickle episode on Krampus.

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