St. Nicholas & Krampus
On 6th December in South Tyrol Saint Nicholas, the holy bishop, presents all the good and well-behaved children with sweets. But he comes not alone.
Normally, St. Nicholas is accompanied by some hairy creatures: devils – in German also called “Krampus”. These fantastic creatures are partly man, partly animal, they have a scrubby coat, a hand-carved mask and big and heavy bells. The tradition says that these escorts of Saint Nicholas come and look for the naughty and bad children.
But nowadays the devils don’t punish nasty children anymore, but they only frighten them a little bit during impressive “Krampus” processions, which take place in many villages of the region. The biggest meeting of this kind takes place in Toblach, where devils from all over South Tyrol, Austria, Germany and Switzerland come together and show their artistic masks and costumes.