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Krampus

The other day while out shopping I noticed that some of the stores already had Christmas stuff on the shelves and I was surprised to find these two looking up at me. In the major part of Europe there is some sort of tradition surrounding Saint Nikolas day on December 6th and Croatia isn't any different. The first time my kids were in town and the devil came up to them, they all burst out in tears, not exactly child friendly. Even little kids know what evil is when they see it and it's nothing to be laughed about.



These are different post cards from years ago that also show the tradition:

Now many people dress up in hideous costumes and parade around town, remind me to stay home. I don't want to meet St. Nick or his partner Krampus!

In many parts of Croatia, Krampus is described as a devil, wearing chains around his neck, ankles and wrists, and wearing a cloth sack around his waist. As a part of a tradition, when a child receives a gift from St. Nicolas he is given a golden branch to represent his/hers good deeds throughout the year; however, if the child has misbehaved, Krampus will take the gifts for himself and leave only a silver branch to represent the child's bad acts. Children are commonly scared into sleeping during the time St. Nicolas brings gifts by being told that if they are awake, Krampus will think they have been bad, and will take them away in his sack."

I'm thinking that a man is known by his friends. Makes me think they guy in red can't be trusted.
Anyhoo, just a like cultural lesson from my dear Croatia. 
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11 comments:

  1. Well that is no fun!! Coal in the stocking is a much better approach. It is interesting to learn about other cultures!!

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  2. Whoa! That was so interesting and I am looking forward to sharing this post with my husband later today. We have always celebrated St. Nicolas' Day as a family since living in Germany(so, for 14 years). There wasn't the ugliness behind it though, yikes! They had people dressed like St. Nicolas walking around handing chocolate St. Nicolas figures to the kids. They put their shoes by the door and we fill them with nuts, an orange, chocolate coins and a game for all to play. Then, we put anything related to him, or Santa, away. This is so fascinating to me! And scary. Fascinating and scary. Thanks for sharing this!

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  3. Oh good heavens! I'd never heard of that! How horrible!

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  4. I've never been one to emphasize about Santa anyway.. Now I'm even more glad I don't!

    I love the focus of Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

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  5. I've never heard of that. Very interesting and very sad.

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  6. Tori, thank you so much for sharing this. I never gave things like this a second thought until our daughter and son-in-law lived in Mexico City. We, as Americans, have no idea what cultural differences really amount to...and you are so right, my friend, when you say, it isn't anything to laugh at. I appreciate you, Sister.

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  7. This was interesting, I had never heard of Krampus before. I think I would have been scared too.

    Betty

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  8. This is so very interesting and frightening at the same time!! I cannot even imagine being approached by one of those. I have never heard of this before. Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you for becoming a follower of my blog. I look forward to getting to know you better. Have a blessed weekend.

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  9. Our Danish Exchange Daughter tried to explain this kind of tradition in her culture. It does seem a scary.

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  10. Seems so creepy! At least Santa Clause is a jolly fat man with rosy red cheeks! lol

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  11. That is really, really horrible!

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