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The Christmas season is Krampus time - a half goat, half demon creature, carrying rusty chains and sticks

Young children dressed as the Krampus creature walk the streets during Krampus night on November 30, 2013 in Neustift im Stubaital, Austria. Sixteen Krampus groups including over 200 Krampuses participated in the first annual Neustift event. Krampus, in Tyrol also called Tuifl, is a demon-like creature represented by a fearsome, hand-carved wooden mask with animal horns, a suit made from sheep or goat skin and large cow bells attached to the waist that the wearer rings by running or shaking his hips up and down. Krampus has been a part of Central European, alpine folklore going back at least a millennium, and since the 17th-century Krampus traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas and angels on the evening of December 5 to visit households to reward children that have been good while reprimanding those who have not. However, in the last few decades Tyrol in particular has seen the founding of numerous village Krampus associations with up to 100 members each and who parade without St. Nicholas at Krampus events throughout November and early December. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Christmas season is Krampus time

Yahoo News

Chains, devil horns, and pitchforks are not things most people associate with the holidays.

But for many in the Alpine region of Europe, that's precisely where Krampus – a half goat, half demon creature, carrying rusty chains and sticks – belongs: in the Christmas season.

Yet some say that the centuries-old European folktale is turning commercial, as Krampus-themed chocolates, decorations, and greeting cards are readily available. Yet at the same time, could he actually be a subversive force for anti-consumerism? (The Christian Science Monitor)

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