12/06/2005: Public Service: Yet Another Holiday Traditions Post....
Let's further your education, and today learn a little about Santa's opposite number: Krampus
Every comic book hero worth his salt has an archenemy. Batman has the Joker, James Bond has Dr. No, Luke Skywalker has Darth Vader, and Santa Claus has Krampus.Go follow the link for the rest; it's highly entertaining....
Wait a minute, Santa has an archenemy?
Krampus is one of those quirky survivals of a pagan tradition that preceded Christianity. Much like Santa himself. Or Jesus. Oops, did I say Jesus? Never mind.
Santa Claus is a Christianization of a handful of traditional winter solstice figures, who morphed into St. Nicholas after the Catholics swarmed into Austria.
Santa was most heavily influenced by the Norse Thor, who had a long white beard and cheerfully rode a flying chariot. The enemy of good in Norse mythology was Loki, a figure usually depicted as falling somewhere in the range between Satan himself and Carrot Top.
Loki was a devil-trickster figure with big horns. (Of course, most Norse gods were wearing horns on their hats if they didn't have them growing out of their heads.) While the noble Thor was a good candidate for transformation into a Christian saint, Loki was not so much. But old gods never die, they just fade away. The lingering afterimage of Loki became part of the template for Krampus.
Len on 12.06.05 @ 08:47 AM CST