WATCH: Austrian town faces wrath of Krampus at annual festival
Hollabrunn’s Market Square in Austria was the site of the town’s annual Krampus run Saturday, where thousands were whipped, chased and growled at by over 100 Krampus impersonators.
Krampus, an evil companion of Santa Claus, stretches back to pre-Christian pagan rituals in Germanic folklore and has usually been characterized as a demonic figure with goat horns. By the 17th century, the figure was incorporated in Christmas traditions offering a counter to the generous Saint Nicholas.
Instead of delivering treats to good boys and girls, Krampus punishes the bad children by beating them and tossing them into a cage he carries around on his back.
The tradition is usually confined to Nordic and Alpine Europe though has occasionally popped up in popular culture in North America, including getting the big screen treatment in a 2015 comedy horror Krampus.
No children were nabbed this year at Hollabrunn’s Krampus run but a few brave souls may have suffered some minor bruises, a threatening earful and a stolen hat.
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