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 The Krampus (Devils) is a horrible figure of Advent traditions of the Eastern Alps in Europe and accompanies the holy Nicholas. While Nicholas rewards the good children, the Krampus will "punished" the naughty children. Unlike the "Knecht Ruprecht" the Krampus occurs always in larger groups. The Nicholas and Krampus form together with other horrible figures such as "Tafelperchten, Kappenperchten, Habergoaß" and witches with hunters and poachers a acting group called "Pass".

The masks of the Krampus are almost identical to the masks of the also horrible "Schirchperchten". Although the figure of the Krampus is derived from the devil and the "Schirchperchten" of mystical animal forms. Prior you'll find the figure of the Nicholas and Krampus in Advent traditions only at 05.December each year. For tourist purposes will find the first Krampus parades as early as mid-November and mix with the "Perchten"-traditions at the same time.
The ugly, tradition figure "Schirchperchten" have their proper place in the Christmas traditions between 24.December and 5.January. With their ghoulish look and bells they should chase away the bad winter spirits. Furthermore the "Perchten" bring good luck to the inhabitants of the visited houses. In addition to the ugly "Schirchperchten" there are also nice figures "Schönperchten". The most famous "Schönperchten" you'll see on the evening of the 05th January at the parades called "Glöcklerläufe". Today there are especially "Glöcklerläufe" in the Regions Central Salzkammergut and in parts of state Salzburg and in the Upper Styrian region Enns valley.
The Krampus wears a fur costume made from sheep or goat skin. On the wide belt are often attached very loud. In the hands carries the Krampus a horse's tail, or a willow tail.
In the devil parades run the a lot of Krampus actors through the street and scare the visitors a little. Most devil parades are a mix of martial Krampus figures, rock music and pyrotechnics show. Some actor groups are very creative and use also wrecked cars, on tractors hanging cages, motorcycles and fire boiler. Because of many incidents every Krampus actor is registrated with a number on his costume. At many parades, visitors are also secured by barriers. The Groups in the devil parades also be accompanied by minders, to intervene even if it should be too wild. In addition to the devil parades in many towns on small stages or in cultural halls are listed Krampus games.
Particularly for older children and young people is the provocation of actors a welcome test of courage. Once you have provocated a Krampus, you have to run away quickly. The Krampus actor is disadvantaged with the heavy costume, the mask, and by the limited perspective.

           
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