The Krampus: Santa’s not so little helper

«You better watch out
You better not cry
better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list,
and checking it twice;
gonna find out
Who’s NAUGHTY and nice… »

Yes, because if he finds out that you’ve been breaking bad*, he’ll just hand you over to the Krampus. You know, this dude shown below. *From the tv series Breaking Bad (best show ever), it means raising hell well beyond the extreme.

Red-faced Krampus
Selfie? Anyone?

Today’s date makes 5 years to the day that we were in in Tarvisio to see the Krampus parade and I can still remember the evening very well. Freezing cold, darkness, the smell of smoke, Mister B shaking like a leaf, and beastly man-goats thrashing whips and dragging heavy chains and balls of fire. If only selfies were trending then! Born from the depths of German folklore, tonight the Krampusse will be out in full force everywhere in alpine countries.

Since that encounter we never felt it was something to have to relive again, but each year on the eve of St. Nicholas (December 5th) I still like to recognize the tradition. There’s Krampus beer, Krampus fruit figures, and Krampus candy among other things. I took the carb route, using about half a pound of bread dough to make Karl the Krampus. Handsome, no?

Krampus bread

And if you’re a good kid?

Well I guess you simply count your blessings that Krampy won’t be giving you a whooping. This is a good time as any to mention, once again, an entirely different way of celebrating the eve of Saint Nicholas’ day here in Lecco. It’s a tale that involves apples and gold, things that kids appreciated before video games came along. The story begins as such…
Long ago, the tradition of the festival of San Nicolo (the patron saint of Lecco) continue reading

pupazzo di San Nicolò


3 thoughts on “The Krampus: Santa’s not so little helper

  1. Anonymous

    Mr. Krampus looks like me on a Monday after a weekend of partying. ‘Tis the season 🙂
    Europe has the most incredible traditions, and you do a good job at getting into the spirit of it all.


    1. Rowena Post author

      The old country is amazing in that respect, isn’t it? I’m going to share a great link regarding other Krampusse and other beasties if I can find the link. You’ll love it!



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