Friday, December 24, 2010

Not Yeti Friday - White Krampus

I'm Dreaming of a White Krampus...

If you don't know who Krampus is, then the Internet has been unkind to you.

It has been like crotchety miser Ebenezer Scrooge, keeping its wealth of interesting factoids all to itself.

But today is Christmas Eve! Consider me the ghost of Marley, telling Mr. Web-enezer Scrooge that it's gonna be visited by three ghosts this very night! I am in ur door knocker, repenting teh Internets.

Here's the scoop:

In Austria (mostly), folks used to dress up like a yeti to commemorate the changing of the seasons. This costume was called Krampus, which basically just meant "Dude with Claws". Yeti dudes would leap about and delight everybody, ward off evil spirits, that sort of thing.

Then the legend of St. Nicholas came along and Krampus got stuffed into that story. He became Santa's minion - his assistant. He knew who was naughty or nice. This is the root of our modern conception of Santa's elves. So you see, yetis = elves.

Now, the story of Krampus changed at one point, and he wasn't Santa's pal no more. He was his Arch-Enemy. He took on a really nasty, anti-Pagan appearance - all devily and hoofy. He got a suggestively long tongue and started carrying switches to whip children and harass ladies. He became decidedly less yeti-ish at this point.

To this day, folks still celebrate Christmas by dressing up like Krampus and doing Krampusy things.

Anyway, there's loads more about Krampus that ol' Scroogey can tell you. Just Scroogle his name.

One interesting note - A post on the excellent Bigfoot Lunch Club blog discusses an LA Weekly article by Jeffrey Vallance: "Santa is a Wildman". It turns out that the origin of St. Nicholas himself is closely tied to that of the hairy Wildman of ancient folklore. So you see, it is not just yetis = elves, but yetis = Santa as well.

Because, I mean, basically, if this wasn't obvious already, yetis = everything.

Go back far enough and it is yetis.


Here are a bunch of White Krampuses for your "Not Yeti" (*wink!*) Friday:









EpicGilgamesh said...

Thank you from the Shout Out! Its me, Epic, From the Bigfoot Lunch Club! We LOVE your site and your dedication is something us Bigfooters are always talking about.

Please don't stop doing all your great work!

Henry said...

Thank you, Epic! That's really nice of you to say. Keep up the great work on Bigfoot Lunch Club!