santas creepy chum gives austrians a scary thrill
Last Updated : GMT 08:01:54
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 08:01:54
Arab Today, arab today

Santa's creepy chum gives Austrians a scary thrill

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Santa's creepy chum gives Austrians a scary thrill

Austrian financial adviser Ernst Eigner is ugly and scary
Schwadorf - Arab Today

Austrian financial adviser Ernst Eigner is ugly and scary. But only in his "Krampus" costume with red glowing eyes and horns to frighten naughty children and "evil spirits".

His troupe is just one of an estimated 850, with 10,000 members around Austria marauding through towns and villages over the Christmas period in "Krampuslauf" parades.

"We are spreading the tradition of scaring away evil spirits," Eigner told AFP as he donned his outfit before one such event in Schwadorf near Vienna.

"Just symbolically though of course," he said, resplendent in his shaggy Roman centurion-cum-zombie costume, animal bones dangling here and there.

It starts off innocently, with Santa -- or rather Saint Nicholas -- giving out sweets. But fear is in the air because soon come his satanic sidekicks, dozens of them.

Wave after wave bound in, stomping around a roaring fire that sends sparks into the night sky, clanging cow bells attached to their backs and brandishing whips and blazing red flares.

With heavy metal blaring, the several hundred spectators in the market town watch behind safety barriers as the demonic creatures prowl around menacingly, leering at the public.

But apart from one tearful little girl, everyone has fun. The monsters high-five with kids as they slope off back to their lair -- actually the local school -- to get changed.

"We are trying to make it look brutal but our whips are only made of horse hair," Eigner assures us. "People can hardly feel it if we hit them."

- Black angels and orcs -

It's a booming trend, with ever more groups springing up to satisfy a seemingly insatiable demand, and not just in Austria but in southern Germany and further afield too.

One of Austria's biggest parades, in Schladming south of Salzburg, involves some 800 monsters and attracts 8,000 spectators paying 12-15 euros ($14-18) per adult.

Yet, while it may be inspired by past customs, the phenomenon has moved and evolved far beyond its supposed origins in the remote valleys of the Alps.

Head-to-hoof in dark fur with horns, a tail and a lolling red tongue, from the 16th century Krampus traditionally appeared on December 5, the eve of Saint Nicholas Day.

"Children would be tested on religious knowledge by Saint Nicholas. He would reward them but couldn't punish them. That was Krampus's job," ethnologist Helga Maria Wolf told AFP.

"Even into the 1960s, the pair would visit families on request," she said.

"Perchten" meanwhile, figures of good and evil whose origins are possibly pagan, would emerge in early January or in the carnival season before Lent, the Christian period of fasting.

Traditional Perchten processions still exist, such as in Gastein in western Austria where 140 creatures from mythology and legend "drive out winter" every four years.

But in recent decades, Krampus and Perchten have merged into hybrids, incorporating other influences from horror movies to heavy metal music, and appearing from early November onwards.

In Schwadorf there was Death himself and an assortment of witches, monks, red-faced Satans, black angels and other beasts resembling "Lord of the Rings" orcs.

- Confronting fears -

Every Krampus season however, Austrian newspapers are full of stories about drunken young men dressed up as monsters causing injuries and mayhem.

In one such recent event in the town of Voelkermarkt, police were called after at least six people were injured, reportedly after two rival Krampus groups clashed.

One therapist near Salzburg, Andrea Hammerer, runs a yearly seminar helping people who are scared to go outdoors at this time of year.

"The sound of the bells goes right to the unconscious," Hammerer told AFP. "We get people to confront their fears, we bring in people dressed up as Krampus."

Krampus performers say spectators can be the problem, grabbing their horns and throwing beer to wind them up.

Some groups held a demo in Klagenfurt recently to protest against negative media coverage.

But a whiff of danger is perhaps also part of the fun.

"There's a nice word for it -- 'angstlust'," the pleasure of fear, Wolf said. "People love rollercoasters for example. There's a kind of comforting frisson about it."

"When I was little I was a tiny bit scared," said Lukas, 13, getting ready in Schwadorf to appear in his Krampus disguise. "But then I became one."

Source:AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

santas creepy chum gives austrians a scary thrill santas creepy chum gives austrians a scary thrill

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

santas creepy chum gives austrians a scary thrill santas creepy chum gives austrians a scary thrill

 



Arab Today, arab today Burberry revamps under new designer Riccardo Tisci

GMT 15:11 2018 Tuesday ,18 September

Burberry revamps under new designer Riccardo Tisci
Arab Today, arab today Saudi Arabia opens high-speed railway linking holy cities

GMT 05:04 2018 Wednesday ,26 September

Saudi Arabia opens high-speed railway linking holy cities
Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017

GMT 10:35 2018 Monday ,22 January

Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017
Arab Today, arab today Ryanair cabin crew in five countries to strike Sept 28

GMT 17:27 2018 Thursday ,13 September

Ryanair cabin crew in five countries to strike Sept 28
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles
Arab Today, arab today Twitter now allows live audio-only broadcasts

GMT 17:26 2018 Saturday ,08 September

Twitter now allows live audio-only broadcasts

GMT 19:32 2016 Monday ,28 March

2 Killed in Jeddah Sandstorms

GMT 11:23 2013 Wednesday ,28 August

Sanaa Youssef to star in Jazeera II

GMT 10:28 2018 Monday ,22 January

Uggs, pigs and tartan

GMT 20:14 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Book gives voice to Vietnam's strangled anger

GMT 00:22 2017 Saturday ,21 October

You decide the plot: Social media shows shake TV drama

GMT 15:06 2017 Tuesday ,24 October

Fox protected Bill O'Reilly from harassment claims

GMT 03:45 2017 Saturday ,29 July

Could a green sponge hold cancer-fighting secrets?

GMT 06:27 2015 Monday ,03 August

13 rules for mastering new language

GMT 10:39 2015 Sunday ,26 April

How to find the perfect perfume

GMT 13:06 2016 Monday ,22 February

Apple encryption fracas about 'victims and justice'

GMT 08:18 2016 Thursday ,21 April

Intel gambit aims for position in post-PC world

GMT 16:39 2017 Monday ,08 May

Coal won't make a comeback

GMT 20:58 2014 Wednesday ,09 July

How to choose bathroom curtains

GMT 15:04 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Khoula presents initiative to reform education

GMT 07:47 2015 Saturday ,18 April

2016 ELR advances with more power, technology

GMT 15:44 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Women who slapped Israeli soldiers arrested

GMT 21:32 2017 Thursday ,03 August

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' fit to serve sentence

GMT 03:10 2017 Sunday ,05 November

New brand The PÜRE Collection appoints Fuel PR

GMT 15:30 2016 Sunday ,13 March

Britain leaving EU would damage science
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday