New Book: The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas

Coming October 11, 2016, the first English-language book-length exploration of Krampus folklore and history by Krampus Los Angeles director, Al Ridenour, The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas.

bookcoverThe Krampus, a folkloric devil associated with St. Nicholas in Alpine Austria and Germany, has been embraced by the American counterculture and is lately skewing mainstream. While shockingly out of place with the modern Christmas, the old world from which he comes feared this season and its nights haunted by ghosts, witches, devilish horsemen, and even murderous incarnations of Catholic saints. Central to this folklore are the Perchten, Alpine demons on which the Krampus is based. In Austria, these creatures were connected to Frau Perchta, a witch-like being who threatened naughty children with disemboweling. In Germany, her peer was Frau Holle, ruler of a fabulous realm hidden beneath a mountain deep within the Thuringian Forest. Even the Church once celebrated the season with plays depicting the Devil, Antichrist, and Herod’s gory Massacre of the Innocents. Together, these dark traditions gave birth to a figure now more popular than ever, the Krampus.

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