Krampus

Krampus is a mythical creature, also called the devil or the demon, and is often a companion of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas as the „good man“ uses Krampuses to instil fear and give a warning to the naughty children.

The Krampus tradition in the wider area of Kanal goes back centuries. Branko Žnidaršič, an expert in carnival traditions, mentions a Krampus in human size in the basement of the church on Stara Gora. He says that in the past, the Krampuses were not only the companions of Saint Nicholas. Some mothers would rattle chains in the house to mimic the Krampuses and scare children before Saint Nicholas Day. In our area, the Krampuses did not have a habit of walking around the villages and houses in masks and costumes to inspire fear.

Branko got the idea for the Krampus mask after visiting the Krampus parade in Podkoren near Kranjska Gora.  First original Krampus masks were thus created in 2016 and presented in the parade in Kanal the same year in December. Following the tradition of Lig masks, the Krampus mask is also made of copper and aluminium. Horns, long teeth and a hairy scalp are added to it. The mask itself is not painted like the Krampus mask included in the traditional Lig carnival parade. It is thus visibly uniquely made and more scary in artificial light. Krampus costume is sewn from different types of animal skins or pieces of skins sewn to clothes. The making of the mask requires 65 to 75 hours of work, and the making of costume takes additional 15 to 20 hours. Three people are required to simultaneously sew the costume.

Branko wants to improve the future look of the Krampus by adding hooves and other details. He also thinks about adding a so-called “žleht baba” into the parade, who would have a willow backpack with beating sticks for throwing in the naughty children and a basket of walnuts and other treats to distribute among the poor children.

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