Krampus, drunkenness, and paganism

Krampus Movie Poster


Many probably have never heard of Krampus. But there have been a few movies focused on this creature.

His ‘existence’ is normally more popular in Germany than in North America. But more in North America are getting involved as the following suggests:

What is Krampus and should we really be celebrating it?

Well, there’s a group of people in Pittsburgh embracing the German folklore character, who apparently punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved — kind of the opposite of Santa Claus, who rewards good behavior. …

According to legend, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. He appears on the streets Dec. 5 (Krampusnacht), the day before the Feast of St. Nicholas celebrated in parts of Europe.

So on Dec. 5, head to Market Square for Pittsburgh’s second annual Krampusnacht, where a variety of people dressed as the hairy goat-like creatures will stomp through the quaint “Christmas Village.” 11/30/17

Santa gets all the attention. It’s time we shared some with his devilish, bloodthirsty counterpart.

Several Blackstone-area bars will be stops on the neighborhood’s third annual Krampus Crawl, set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday.

Krampus is known in European folklore as the demonic inverse of St. Nicholas. While St. Nick travels the countryside, rewarding good girls and boys, Krampus punishes the bad with beatings … or worse. 11/30/17

So this evening near Omaha and December 5th in Pittsburgh are Krampus events–there were more in the news, but these two show that there is some North American interest.

Here is some of what National Geographic reported related to Krampus:

Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.

The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.

Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children and take them away to his lair.

According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night before December 6, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. December 6 also happens to be Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when German children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they’d left out the night before contains either presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior).

A more modern take on the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic involves drunken men dressed as devils, who take over the streets for a Krampuslauf—a Krampus Run of sorts, when people are chased through the streets by the “devils.” …

Krampus is making a comeback now, thanks partly to a “bah, humbug” attitude in pop culture, with people searching for ways to celebrate the yuletide season in non-traditional ways. National Geographic has even published a book in German about the devilish Christmas beast.

Notice also the following about Krampus:

1. The creature has more than one name. Other names for Krampus are Schmutzli, Perchten, Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Black Peter, Pelznickel and Klaubauf.

2. Krampus is a pagan monster with roots in Germanic and Greek mythology … The name itself comes from the German word “krampen,” which means “claw.” In the myth, he is described as a demonic version of half-goat, half-man. To top it off, he is adorned with a chain and bells and a bundle of birch sticks with which to hit naughty children.

3. Krampus pre-dates Christianity. That means he’s older than Jesus Christ.

4. He doesn’t arrive on the same day as Santa Claus. Krampus gets Dec. 6, a night of his own. He shows up on Krampus Night, or Krampusnacht, which coincides with St. Nicholas Day.

Krampus is some type of a pagan invention.

Pagan celebrations (since Krampus clearly has a non-Christian origin) are not something Christians should engage in:

29 When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it (Deuteronomy 12:29-32, NKJV).

The LORD says, “Do not start following pagan religious practices… (Jeremiah 10:2, NET Bible).

2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen… (Jeremiah 10:2, KJV).

Nor should Christians be part of drunken celebrations, like Krampus is in certain places:

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)

And ‘Krampus’ is not the only one of those that many who claim Christ celebrate in violation of biblical guidelines.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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