Most children look forward to a visit from St. Nick on Christmas but in some parts of the world Boys And Girls are taught to be afraid. This is because of the legend of Krampus who is the polar opposite of the kindly Santa Claus who bears gifts to good little boys and girls. The legend of this being who is said to be half demon and half goat is one that terrorizes children and incites fear during a holiday that is supposed to bring joy. While Santa will only leave coal in the stocking of a child who is on his naughty list, his evil counterpart is said to give whippings and drag bad boys and girls away to his lair.

Christmas comes on December 25 but Krampusnacht takes place before December 6.

The legend of Krampus

In Norse mythology, Krampus is said to be the son of Hel, and his name comes from the German word krampen which means "claw." This beast who is the part goat and part demon share characteristics with other beasts from Greek mythology such as fauns and satyrs. His legend began in Germany when Christmas was celebrated early in December. This evil creature is said to show up on Krampus Night which is the night before St. Nicholas day on December 6.

This is when children look outside their doors to see if the shoe or boot they left out the previous night has been filled with goodies by St. Nick for good behavior or a rod for children who were naughty.

Krampus is said to have horns, fangs and also be very hairy. This demonic creature lays in wait for wicked children to beat them with a bundle of birch sticks and or take them away to his lair.

There is always a polar opposite to spoil the fun

In folklore and mythology, there is always a villain for every hero and Krampus is the polar opposite of Santa Clause.

One is ha been deemed a saint while the other is considered a Christmas devil. Krampus was created t frighten German children into being good little boys and girls while St. Nick rewards those who have been minding their P's and Qs the whole year long. According to the Smithsonian, Krampus is Europe's evil twist on Santa but there are those who enjoy this demonic creature.

Lienz Austria actually has a parade to celebrate this holiday devil where the horned creature with bloodshot eyes has about half a dozen minions following behind and as they walk through the streets. The demonic beings take sticks and swat at both children and adults who laugh don't run in fear but laugh with glee. In addition to a festival in his honor, there is also a comic book series dedicated to the Christmas devil. In some cultures, evil is shunned but in December in Europe, this half goat half demon monster is celebrated.

To each his own but this is very curious indeed and brings to mind Isaiah 5:20 which says; Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil.

Christmas for many is a time of joy, peace, celebrating family and remembering the Christ child. It's probably difficult for those who embrace the love and joy of the season to fathom that some are embracing the evil goat demon named Krampus.