“Across Europe, traditions have that monstrous beings accompany St. Nicholas on his rounds, either as mismatched buddy cop movie pairings (Krampus, Necht Ruprecht, Schmutzli) or as stand-alone villains (such as Austria’s witch Frau Perchta and Iceland’s feline menace, Jólakötturin). Like mobsters doing their boss’s dirty work, Krampus and Le Père Fouettard set out into the cold, cold December night to deal with the kids who have been naughty. They’re more likely to deck the halls with Holly’s bowels than boughs of holly. Forget kindly elves, a jolly fat man with a great big bushy beard, red-nosed reindeers and magical sleighs. Children are given a choice: presents or a sound beating with a bag of ashes (as one strand of the tale goes). ” – James Hoare, Le Père Fouettard: The French Christmas cannibal who serves Santa Claus
In this episode, Skye and Kelly discusses some of the most popular Christmas monsters from all over the globe.
Krampus is often the icon when it comes to Christmas monsters. This creature resembles the devil and is notorious for his long tongue. His origins are German and Austrian, along with Frau Perchta. Frau Perchta will rip out organs and replace them with garbage if you have bad behavior.
Some Icelandic monsters include Jólakötturin, the Yule Lads, and Grýla. While the Yule Lads have become more friendly creatures that leave gifts in children’s shoes, Grýla and Jólakötturin are known for eating children. Jólakötturin, or The Yule Cat, will eat children who are not hard workers.
Belsnickel is another German being that has come over to the states, thanks to Dwight’s iconic depiction on The Office. Belsnickel, along with Hans Trapp, are known for frightening children with threats in order for them to behave well. Hans Trapp is of French lore along with Le Père Fouettard.
Knecht Ruprecht rewards children who know how to pray and “whomps” with ashes those who do not. However, he is sometimes depicted as something similar to Krampus.
Christmas monsters are meant to inspire children to behave well and earn their Christmas presents.