|A Chocolate Krampus|
This is quite in contrast to Bavaria, where St. Nikolaus may be followed by the hideous Klaubauf, a shaggy monster with horns. In Austria the saint is followed by a similar horned creature, called Krampus, covered with bells and dragging chains.
Who is Krampus?
|St. Nicholas and the Krampus|
Krampus is also known in Austria as Kneckt Ruprecht and Black Peter. In Germany he may be called Pelzebock, Pelznickel (or Belznickel), Hans Muff, Bartel, Gumphinkel, Stoppklos, Black Pit, or Knecht Ruprecht. To this day, the Running of the Krampus (Krampuslauf) happens during the first week of December. In Salzburg, young men put on dark animal-skin suits, red carved masks with horns or antlers, and mismatched shoes. They stomp down the Getreidegasse, the main shopping street, ringing cowbells, pretending to snatch little children, and hitting people on the leg with the switches they use for tails. St. Nicholas follows behind, handing out candies.