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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Krampus at the Surnateum (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Curator
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Some elements of a Krampus costume at the Surnateum.
And the Julbocken mask.

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The complete story in French is here.

http://logs.surnateum.com/gruss-vom-krampus/
Josepher
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English Translation:

The Curator was fuming!

A television program showed animation for the feast of Saint Nicholas at the Museum of Africa in Tervuren, in which Father Fouettard had been replaced by an African pseudo-bishop. People welcomed this happy initiative. Political correctness assumed untenable proportions for a historian who tried to keep ancestral traditions.

But who did these people think they were!

Father Fouettard who accompanied the Saint had nothing to do with a pseudo-image of colonialism, he was the distant echo of a demon who punished unwise children. In the traditions of Alsace, his name is Hans Trapp, in Flanders and the Netherlands it is Zwarte Piet, Knecht Ruprecht in Germany, and Krampus, son of the goddess Hel, in other Germanic regions.

Even if Zwarte Piet represented a black slave with a colorful costume, the character was much older and presented himself differently in various traditions.

The exact origin of this myth is not known, but it is pre-Christian and part of the winter holidays. Saint Nicholas rewards wise children and Krampus punishes them. It can be a "Wild Man" or a reminiscence of the Pan God ... The Krampus is also strongly linked to Julbock, the goat of the Thor God of Scandinavian traditions.

The Julbock is one of the oldest symbols of Christmas in the Scandinavian countries and in northern Europe. It can be translated into French by Yule goat or Christmas goat.

Its origins go back well before the Christian era. When the goats were linked to the god Thor, who was traveling in the sky drawn by two of them. He was then linked to witchcraft and the devil. In Finland, the Julbock was known as an ugly creature that terrorized children.

Julbock (Uppland) .png

From the seventeenth century, peasants made small goats out of straw. This material reminded them of the birth of Christ in the manger of the manger and was available in large quantities. In the evening, they dressed up as goats and went from house to house to frighten the children. After their passage, they left one of these little Julbocks of straw as well as a small piece of paper on which were written some nasty or mocking rhymes.

During the 19th century, the role of the Julbock changed and he became the one who distributed the gifts. The children braided their Christmas goats with dried wheat stalks and during Christmas night, it flew away and went to the land of gifts to look for a present. Today, the Julbock has been replaced by the Julenisse, a sort of elf who distributes gifts. The goat is always present and accompanies it on its tours.

The Julbock is still a popular Christmas decoration in Scandinavian countries today. (source: Wikipedia)

Julbock mask



There is a probable link with the ancient Saturnalia, the feasts of the God Saturn, the Scandinavian feast of Yule and the Celtic Samain. After all, Christmas itself is the current Christianized version.

After all, Saturn eats his children (as in the tale of Saint Nicholas), he wears chains in Rome from which he is released during the Saturnalia, he has a sickle that strongly resembles the hook of Krampus. Like Roman deities, it has two aspects: positive and negative.

On December 5, demons descend into the villages and frighten children and adults. Some masks also take the opportunity to settle scores, and the party can become violent…

We keep at the Surnateum, some elements of a costume from Bavaria, near the town of Oberstdorf. There is a patched red cape, a bundle of rods for whipping, a big bell, very old handcuffs, chains with bells and a sort of monstrous claw that recalls the "legs" of Krampus. The name Krampus comes from the German krampen: claws. We added a mask representing the character, but it is not part of the original set.

Legend around Krampus

There is also a gift and some postcards that belonged to a certain Müller family in the region. A fairly common surname, I think that local mayors have carried this name.

The family concerned was large. The husband was a respected notable who already had six children and his wife was expecting a seventh for the start of the year. Among the children, Hilde had been particularly unpleasant this year. Pimbeche * mentally tortured the maid, pinched her brothers and sisters, played hanging tricks on the neighbors, but no one dared to point out to her. She knew how to manipulate her father who defended her in all circumstances.

She had even poisoned the neighbor's dog, Emil Wildermann, who had dared to scold in front of her.

On December 5, Krampus party was in full swing in the city, but the girl couldn't care less. She neither believed in ...

(translation by Google Translate)
Intrepid
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Christian, thanks for sharing this with us.
Josepher, thanks for the google translate.
Below is the rest of the translation.

"On December 5, Krampus party was in full swing in the city, but the girl couldn't care less. She believed neither in Saint Nicholas, nor in Santa Claus and even less in Krampus and did not hesitate to claim that only fools could still have fun with his traditions.

The household, however, was preparing for the holidays in a certain fever, when there was a heavy knock on the door. The maid went to open and moved back. A deep voice spoke the word "Grüss" (hello). She did not see the visitor's face, hidden by a red cloak, but she answered him in the same way. A clawed hand emerged from the cape and held out a gift which she carefully took. Then the character walked away and disappeared ...

When Father Müller asked who showed up at the door, the maid, still a little shaken by the apparition, showed him what the visitor had left. At that moment, Hilde jumped from who knows where and jumped on the present. She ripped off the gift wrap and shredded the box, saying it was for her. The package did not contain a wonderful treasure or a fantastic toy, there was a forked hoof of goat or boar, the story is unclear about this.

The girl pouted in contempt and threw the hoof in the face of the maid before scampering away.

The night before the feast of Saint Nicolas, the whole family went to sleep while waiting to discover the gifts of the following day.

In the morning, the children gathered outside the living room door, more impatient than the others. Only Hilde was missing. We searched for her for hours, she had disappeared without leaving the slightest trace. On his bed, there was only a large bell with the words "Grüss vom Krampus" inscribed on it. We never found her…

Emil Wildermann was suspected of having kidnapped the girl, but no one could ever prove anything.

Since then, in the Müller family, postcards have been used in a sort of little ritual to make sure that no child risks being visited by the Krampus.

We think that whoever unwraps the gift is cursed, but the game - called "Grüss Krampus, Grüss Nikolo" - allows us to sense what is in the box. Then, free to him who receives it to open the package or not ..."
Bob
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Thanks for the traductions
Following the story, there's a routine using those cards...

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The Curator
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New photos by Carl Gibson.
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