Being on the “naughty” list is not for the faint of heart when Krampus is lurking. In this Holiday Memories video, Allison Harvey describes a unique Austrian tradition that she learned from her Oma years ago and that is still carried on by her cousins today.
My Grandma, or Oma as we called her all growing up, is from a little village in Austria—Southern Austria. One of the coolest holiday traditions that they have around Christmas time is Saint Nicholas will come with all the presents and festive holiday cheer, and he brings with him Krampus, who is this terrible creature. Very scary looking. Scares all the little children, terrorizes them so that they’ll be good. If they’re bad, they have to go with Krampus; and if they’re good, then they can get treats from Saint Nicholas. So cool Austrian tradition.
And my relatives who still live in that same little village in Austria will dress up every year. I have one cousin who sometimes will dress up as Saint Nicholas and other cousins who will dress up as Krampus and go around to all the houses and scare all the children. It’s a cool tradition.