Why and when did Santa appoint an evil Christmas figure as one of his helpers? Well, the story of Krampus starts with the story of Santa Claus itself. It is believed that the Character of "Santa Claus" is based on the 4th century Bishop, Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was a very generous man who helped the poor during Christmas by flinging coins into their windows. Over the past centuries, the story of Saint Nicolas has undergone several changes and out of one such version, evolved the popular mythical figure of Santa Claus. As the name changed, so did the basic Saint Nicholas Day traditions. The tradition, which spread all over Europe, started to undergo changes in different regions, independent of each other. In Alpine countries, Krampus became a menacing mythical figure who, traveled with the pleasant and amiable gift- bearer Saint Nicolas, during Christmas season. According to the myth, during Christmas, Krampus used to accompany Saint Nicholas to punish or scare naughty children. Read further to know more about the character of Krampus.
The Evil Santa
The mythical figure of Krampus is somewhat similar to the satyrs of Greek mythology. From the very beginning, the Catholic Church had been against any tradition which included goat-like creatures. Church tried its best to expel these mythical entities from the Christmas celebrations. But, despite the persistent efforts of the Catholic Church, Krampus survived and later became associated with Saint Nicholas.
The appearance of Krampus tends to vary in different traditions but there are certain commonalities as far as the physical features are concerned. He is often portrayed as a hairy figure, with brown or black hair. He also has cloven hooves and horns which resemble that of goats, as well as a long pointed tongue. The chain which he carries signifies the thralldom of the devil of the Christian church. Along with the chains, he also carries different types of bells. According to one of the folklore, Krampus carries birch branches bundles to whack naughty children. But, in some cases, he is also shown as carrying a whip in place of birch branches. Some also believe that he appears with a washtub or a sack strapped around his back, to take away the bad children.
Other Names For Krampus