Page 63 - Autumn Brilliance - We Wish You A Scary Christmas! Winter 2020
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    Krampuslauf in Salzburg, Vienna
Other variations of this character were spread throughout Bavaria and into further-reaching regions such as the Netherlands (territory of Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter).
Belsnickel originated deep within southwestern Germany’s Rhine River valley, and is still sometimes celebrated in the USA by the Pennsylvania Dutch as well as Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley communities.
While not as outright scary as Krampus, and perhaps a wee bit nicer, he still carried his cluster of branches to give brats a swift zetz they would not soon forget!
- Ellen Gee
A fine Krampus duo, as created by artist Nicole Johnson
(see more of her work on page 6)
Krampus culture is still popular in the Bavarian region, with festivals called Krampusnacht (Krampus Night) that take place on the evening of December 5th (the night before the Feast of St. Nikolaus). Huge crowds of spectators turn out for this extraordinary event. Streets become full with all manner of rampant Krampus and Perchten (a similar female version of the legend) as celebrants dress up in costumes and run about during this celebration, known as Krampuslauf (Krampus Run).
The participants parade through the streets, sometimes chasing spectators in good fun and, yes, much alcohol is imbibed in this rustic commemoration, during which it is customary to offer Krampus a shot of schnapps.
Drink up one for yourselves, folks, as it gets mighty cold there during this time of year.

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