Tonight was Krampusnacht. The word Krampus means “claw” so this literally translates to Night Of The Claw.
The Feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated in parts of Europe on December 6. In Alpine countries like Austria, Saint Nicholas has a devilish companion named Krampus. On the preceding evening, Krampus Night or Krampusnacht, the hairy devil appears on the streets. Sometimes accompanying St. Nicholas and sometimes on his own, Krampus visits homes and businesses. The Saint usually appears in the vestments of a bishop such as the mitre, and he carries a ceremonial staff. Unlike North American versions of Santa Claus, in these celebrations Saint Nicholas concerns himself only with the good children, while Krampus is responsible for the bad. Nicholas dispenses gifts, while Krampus supplies coal and the ruten bundles.
In Salzburg, it is a big deal. I counted at least 50-75 Krampus in the city center for tonight’s celebration. They all gathered at the front of the Salzburg Cathedral for what appeared to be some kind of Krampus award ceremony. Possibly for the best Krampus costume or something. I really couldn’t tell. I would hear some german words being spoken over the PA system and a fantastic Krampus from the Krampus horde would jump up and get on stage and do his Krampus thing.
I had to really work to get up to the area where all this was happening. It was very crowded, but it was a site to see!
You can see the rest of my photos by clicking here.
After watching all the Krampus mayhem we decided to get some dinner and get back to the hotel for some rest. But, as fate would have it, Krampus was not done with us.
St. Nick and a handful of angels and Krampuses invaded the restaurant.
A Krampus even took my seat and tormented Cynthia
It was a perfect ending to a pretty perfect day.