It is said that long ago in times of famine, the youth of small mountain villages disguised themselves with pelts and feathers from the skins and horns of animals. Thus being unrecognizable, they went around terrorizing the inhabitants of nearby towns, looting necessary supplies for the winter season. [translated source from Wikipedia]
Smoke, heavy chains and menacing cauldrons of fire – these were but a handful of props to accompany the nefarious creatures that marched through the town of Tarvisio. Yes we saw the parade of the Krampus, a diabolical creature, that, despite its macabre appeal to tourists and spectators alike, maintains an element of old culture in pre-christian alpine tradition. So what if it was under 40°F. We had a great time witnessing what will probably never appear on the Disney channel. While the Krampus of today are more like Santa’s grotesque helpers (good kids get treats and bad ones get coal), you have to wonder at how desensitized today’s youth have become. I saw more excitement than fright on those young, innocent faces, and even with the brooding music and absence of light, the Krampus, from what I could tell, was just another cool dude from the ‘hood.
We didn’t stay long to see what else was going on in the town square because my rumbling tummy directed our attention to the fragrant smells of vin brule and Krampus bread which quickly caught my attention.
Coffee, tea, or Krampus? Mask not for sale. Next year I’m making a bunch of these for the boys at MotH’s office, complete with twig-birch thingy for spanking naughty lads. For parade information, wikipedia’s italian link gives more detail. http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus