Advent Calendar: Door/Türchen #6

© EdMooney Photography

„You know what this old thing reminds me of?“ He asked his friend, gesturing at the sculpted creature hanging above them.
„A goat head?“ The other guessed without trying.
„Oh, shut up! Krampus. This thing reminds me of Krampus.“ He explained a little bugged that his friend wouldn’t play along.
„Who the hell is Krampus?“ The other wanted to know.
„You don’t know?“
„Never heard of it.“
„He’s the guy that gets to all the naughty children when St. Nicolaus is visiting the good ones.“ He told his friend.
„You mean ‚Knecht Ruprecht‘?“ The other boy tried to clarify.
„No, I mean Krampus. Horns, fur, quite a nasty fella that doesn’t mind using a birch on the kids.“
„You have strange traditions. Where I come from the naughty kid gets a piece of coal or a birch in its shoe instead of the sweats the others get. But no one uses the birches.“ His friend explained and added:
„Does your Nicolaus still bring sweats?“
„Yeah, he does.“ The boy affirmed.
„Well, at least there’s that. Even if you have a way crueller version of the assistant.“
„Yeah, I guess they wanted the kids around here to be especially nice.“ He suggested.
„I can see how that turned out!“ The other laughed, remembering all the mischief his friend had caused.
„Oh, shut up! You don’t want him to get on our trail, do you?“ He threatened, pointing at the head.
„Hell no! Let’s get out of here that thing creeps me out.“
„Yeah, me too.“

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„Weißt du woran mich das alte Ding erinnert?“ Fragte er seinen Freund und winkte in Richtung der Skulptur-Kreatur, die über ihnen hing.
„Einen Ziegenkopf?“ Riet der andere ohne weiteres.
„Ach, sei still! Krampus. Das Ding erinnert mich an Krampus.“ Eröffnete er ein wenig verärgert, dass sein Freund nicht mitspielen wollte.
„Wer zum Teufel ist Krampus?“ Wollte der andere wissen.
„Das weißt du nicht?“
„Nie von gehört.“
„Er ist der Typ der die unartigen Kinder besucht, wenn Sankt Nikolaus bei den Artigen ist.“ Erklärte er seinem Freund.
„Du meinst ‚Knecht Ruprecht‘?“ Versuchte der andere Junge klarzustellen.
„Nein, ich meine Krampus. Hörner, Pelz, ziemlich fieser Typ den es nicht kümmert auch mal die Rute bei den Kindern zu benutzen.“
„Ihr habt merkwürdige Traditionen. Da wo ich herkomme bekommen unartige Kinder ein Stück Kohle oder eine Rute in den Schuh, anstatt Süßigkeiten wie die anderen. Aber keiner benutzt die Ruten.“ Erklärte sein Freund und fügte hinzu:
„Bringt euer Nikolaus trotzdem Süßigkeiten?“
„Jup, tut er.“ Bestätigte der Junge.
„Immerhin etwas. Auch wenn ihr eine viel fiesere Version des Assistenten habt.“
„Jup, ich glaub‘ die wollten das die Kinder hier in der Gegend besonders artig sind.“ Vermutete er.
„Ich seh‘ ja was daraus geworden ist.“ Lachte der andere und dachte an all die Streiche, die sein Freund gespielt hatte.
„Ach sei still! Du willst doch nicht, dass er auf unsere Spur kommt, oder?“ Drohte er und zeigte auf den Kopf.
„Bloß nicht! Jetzt lass uns von hier abhauen, das Ding gibt mir ’ne Gänsehaut.“
„Jo, mir auch.“

Behind the Scenes

I hope you had fun with the sixth door and all have/had a proper filling in your shoes today. 😉

As I learned last year are there different myths regarding St. Nicolaus‘ assistant.

When I first watched the Grimm episode ‚Twelve Days of Krampus‚ I was utterly confused. The tradition sounded familiar, yet so completely different. When I read about Krampus again on the FairytaleTraveler some more things became clear and I was thrilled to learn something new, as I only knew the Knecht Ruprecht version and the custom to leave your shoes to be filled in the night of the 5th.

Which custom did you grow up with? The Krampus or the Knecht?

The picture was by the way first posted here and the head is, according to Ed, made of clay.


© For the story by me and for the picture by EdMooney Photography. Do not use or repost either without my or his permission.


  1. I did grew up with the Krampus-tradition, but at least in my family, the Krampus never occured at the evening – we were only visitied by St. Nicolaus.
    But having moved away now, I find myself confronted with Krampus-marches and all the trouble they bring along. So I’m kinda happy St. Nicolaus passes by this weekend.

    1. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
      It’s interesting to hear others experiences.
      From what I’ve seen the marches sound interesting, but I don’t doubt they are quite annoying for the people living nearby.
      Well, technically the Saint never visited us visibly, you just had the stuffing in your shoe in the morning and depending on what it was either he or Knecht Ruprecht had been there. 😀

    1. It’s true, there are so many different approaches all over the world – not just Europe, yet we generally all celebrate the same thing.
      The Krampus and the Knecht are even used differently depending on the region here in Germany.
      Southern Bavaria at least follows the Krampus traditions, the Northern regions (were I come from) all have the Knecht.
      Sinterklaas and the Zwarte Piet seem to be similar to Saint Nikolaus and Knecht Ruprecht, only that Ruprecht doesn’t have dark skin and more ragged clothes.
      And we use the Zwarte Piet/Schwarze Peter in a different context. 😀

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