KRAMPUS IN AMERICA
Santa Claus was once banned by many religious groups in North America before he made it permanently into our mainstream culture! Like Krampus, several versions of Santa Claus originated in Europe. The Santa Claus that we know in North America today was adapted from the English version: “Father Christmas”. In 16th century England, he rode on a “Yule goat”, had a green coat and delivered presents to children on December 6. This date was eventually changed to December 25th.
In North America, we took the original image of Father Christmas and changed it into our own version of Santa Claus who was more portly, had a red coat and was pulled in a sleigh by 8 enchanted reindeer (as described in the Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823). Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was added in 1939 and was an invention by Robert L. May (an executive at a chain of dept. stores) to save money so the store could stop buying coloring books from outside publishers and distribute and publish their own Christmas coloring books to give away to children at Christmas time!
So what about Krampus? He’s been around just as long as Santa Claus, but is far more controversial. Several Churches and various social and religious groups found him too scary and banned him. Even the Nazis banned Krampus! But Krampus never completely disappeared! He lurked in the shadows and always seemed to bounce back at different times in history!
Krampus Postcard from the early 1900’s PD- 1923
A golden age of Krampus emerged at the beginning of the last century when a slew of Krampus related postcards were published in Europe. And then mysteriously after WW2 his popularity seemed to disappear into the mountains only to silently reemerge every December 5th in secluded towns and villages in Northern Europe! Small groups of Krampus fans kept the tradition alive and were relatively unknown to the outside world… Until now.
Thanks to social media, a Krampus revival is presently taking place! The Krampus phenomenon is gaining popularity in America and new Krampus Runs (Krampages) are sprouting up all across the nation!
Making Krampus a part of mainstream culture in North America however is no easy task! The million dollar question is: Why is Krampus having such a difficult time gaining a “hoof” hold in the West?! He’s scary but he’s not evil! After all, he’s accompanied by a Saint! The Krampus Army’s mission is to help make Krampus a regular part of Christmas Festivities in North America! And we need your help! Buy our Books and Join the Krampus Army today!