NEUSTIFT IM STUBAITAL, Austria Sixteen Krampus groups including more than 200 Krampuses participated in the first annual Neustift event on Nov. 30, 2013 in Neustift im Stubaital, Austria.

Krampus, in Tyrol also called Tuifl, is a demon-like creature represented by a fearsome, hand-carved wooden mask with animal horns, a suit made from sheep or goat skin and large cow bells attached to the waist that the wearer rings by running or shaking his hips up and down.

Krampus has been a part of Central European, alpine folklore going back at least a millennium, and since the 17th-century Krampus traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas and angels on the evening of Dec. 5 to visit households to reward children that have been good while reprimanding those who have not.

However, in the last few decades Tyrol in particular has seen the founding of numerous village Krampus associations with up to 100 members each and who parade without St. Nicholas at Krampus events throughout November and early December.

Read or Share this story: