This article is about the folklore figure. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to ‘bind the Devil’ but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites. The Demon lord’s companion pdf Nicholas festival we are describing incorporates cultural elements widely distributed in Europe, in some cases going back to pre-Christian times.
Nicholas himself became popular in Germany around the eleventh century. A large literature, much of it by European folklorists, bears on these subjects. Austrians in the community we studied are quite aware of “heathen” elements being blended with Christian elements in the Saint Nicholas customs and in other traditional winter ceremonies. They believe Krampus derives from a pagan supernatural who was assimilated to the Christian devil. The Krampus figures persisted, and by the 17th century Krampus had been incorporated into Christian winter celebrations by pairing Krampus with St Nicholas.
Krampus accompanying St Nicholas on 5 December from Austria. In the 1950s, the government distributed pamphlets titled “Krampus Is an Evil Man”. Towards the end of the century, a popular resurgence of Krampus celebrations occurred and continues today. The Krampus tradition is being revived in Bavaria as well, along with a local artistic tradition of hand-carved wooden masks. A 1900s greeting card reading ‘Greetings from Krampus!