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Friday, December 6, 2013

Old Saint Nick

Yesterday our Elf on the Shelf was elf-napped by Krampus. The ransom was paid and Peppermint was returned intact. All's well that ends well, but what in the world is a Krampus?

It turns out that Krampus hangs out in Austria and surrounding countries. Acting as St. Nikolaus's sidekick, he carries around a bag of sticks with which to punish all the naughty children. (This sounds much more painful than a lump of coal!)

St. Nikolaus Day is traditionally celebrated on December 6, the recognized date of St. Nikolaus of Myra's death and his feast day. One of his legends is explained thus:

A poor father had three daughters but not enough money to give each one a dowry. So he sent them out onto the street to earn money as prostitutes. The bishop had pity on them, and on three consecutive nights he threw three pieces of gold into the poor father's small room, helping all three girls to get a good husband. In one version of the legend, he threw the pieces of gold through the chimney. They fell into the socks of the girls, who had hung them there to dry. This version is the basis for the tradition of placing shoes in front of the door or hanging stockings by the fireplace to be filled.
St. Nikolaus has evolved into bringing treats to those who have been good on the eve of his feast day and is the basis for Santa Claus. The night before his feast day, December 5, is sometimes called Krampusnacht (Krampus Night). It seems that our villain is well-versed in holiday lore!

Want to keep tabs on Peppermint this month? Check out her album on our Facebook page.

Leisure. (2006). In Pop culture Germany! media, arts, and lifestyle. Retrieved from

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