Krampus parades in the holiday region
In the 17th century, St. Nicholas bestowed the „brave“ children, while the Krampus punished the „naughty“ ones. The origin can probably be found in an italian figure from the 16th century: During this time people believed in the idea that the devil would devour the souls of the sinners.
On the 5th of december, it’s the evening before the feast of St. Nicholas, is Krampus Day in Austria. Usually the Krampus are accompanied in their „Pass“ – their group – by two „Engerl“ („Angel“) and a „Daxnmandl“. The „Passen“ traditionally go from house to house on Krampus Day and ask for entry into the houses.
A Krampus is traditionally decorated with a wooden mask („Larve“)with horns carved from stone or linden wood, a sheep- or goatskin trouser suit and cowbells attached to a belt on the back. In addition, each Krampus carries a horse or a cow tail or a rod with it.
As tradition is a top priority in the Salzkammergut, several Krampus parades take place in the holiday region every year. At the Krampus parades – which have a long tradition in many Eastern and Southeastern European countries – various „Passen“ run through the villages and try to scare the people. Especially (young) men like to dress as Krampus. Sometimes their long tails and rods are used. Of course, St. Nicholas is alway there and gives away little presents to the children.