A Krampus Carol to remind you of why rotten kids should be wary this season

Anthony Bourdain left us earlier this year, but the joy he found in the world's many cultures and traditions will always be around for us to savor.

In this quick holiday story, written by Bourdain, North America is given a brief, dark, humorous peek into the mythos surrounding Krampus, a goat-demon who comes during the Christmas holidays to punish children who misbehaved over the last year. A good pal of Santa Claus, Krampus, and the dread he has instilled in rotten kids for generations, most likely pre-dates Christianity.

From Wikipedia:

There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch – apart from its phallic significance – may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to 'bind the Devil' but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites.

Merry Krampusnacht! Read the rest

Experience real Austrian Krampuslaufs this winter in a tour hosted by Al Ridenour

Al Ridenour, co-founder of Krampus LA and host of the Bone & Sickle podcast, has just announced that he'll be hosting an eight-day tour of authentic European Krampuslaufs (the Krampus Runs). This winter, from November 30 to December 7, he'll be taking folks to Austria and southern Germany to catch runs in Salzburg and Graz.

All the details can be found at the Kristmas with Krampus tour's site.

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff Read the rest

Bone & Sickle, a new macabre podcast by Al Ridenour

Krampus LA co-founder (and occasional BB guest blogger) Al Ridenour is taking a stab at podcasting with Bone & Sickle, a show that "celebrates the intertwining of horror and folklore."

He writes:

Like my Krampus book, the show explores elements of horror within folklore, or folklore within horror. It’s not an interview show, but more of a manic lecture spun into an overwrought background of original music, drones, effects, snippets of found audio, etc. All within a fictional, manor house framework. Featuring Rick Galiher as my much abused valet, Wilkinson.

In honor of the German holiday of Walpurgisnacht on April 30, Al has "binge released" three 30-minute episodes at once. He suggests starting with the third episode.

Here's a taste of what to expect:

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Krampus season calls for this amazing horned head covering

Regina Weiss of the blog Morale Fiber upped her Krampus game this year with this amazing hand-crocheted hat. Even its horns are made of yarn.

She writes, "I designed this crazy crochet hat after the traditional European Christmas monster who accompanies Santa to scare anyone who isn't on the Nice list!"

Get the pattern for free on her site or support her efforts by grabbing the pdf version for $5.50 at her Etsy shop.

Thanks, Michelle! Read the rest

Krampus LA is raffling off art to save this cool steam car

To help raise funds to repair the Kristie's Flyer steam car, Al Ridenour's Krampus Los Angeles Troupe and Drakenstein Art are hosting a raffle of art and prizes, which includes a pair of tickets to the fifth annual Krampus Ball on December 2.

During this time of year St. Nicholas is carried through the streets on the steam car guiding the Krampus Los Angeles Troupe searching for the naughty little children and serve up their season's beatings. But right now the Steam Car is in need of some repair.

The raffle includes several pieces, including this fiendishly-adorable Krampus doll by Andrea Von Drakenstein. Tickets are $15 each to enter and all proceeds go towards saving the steam car.

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This 3D Lucha Libre beer stein is awesome

I just came across the Münkstein collection of modern-day beer mugs and steins. I was particularly taken by their Lucha Libre stein. Why? Because its art pops when you view it with ordinary red-and-cyan 3D glasses (which are included in the sale price of $56).

It's designed by Dr. Alderete (whose art you should definitely check out):

Lucha Libre Beer Stein holds 1 Liter and is 10 inches tall. Fast Cars, Sexy Babes, Aliens, Werewolves and more all take on Lucha Libre for a chilling action packed adventure.

Prints of the art itself are available for $40.

Previously: Ornate Cthulhu stein Read the rest

Wilder Mann – people who dress in fur, skins, horns, masks, and creature costumes

Photographer Charles Fréger is fascinated by the many different uniforms, costumes and wearable art from around the world. Soldiers, sumo wrestlers and Mardi Gras Indians have all been caught by his lens, and Wilder Mann: The Image of the Savage captures the savages and wild men of Europe. Read the rest

Make a Christmas Krampus!

Just in time for the Christmas season, Bob Knetzger has instructions to build your own tiny child-nabber.

Coming to LA: Krampusfest!, from the remains of the Cacophony Society

Al writes, "KKrampusfest LA is a series of of Krampus events produced throughout December 2013 by the remnants (or 'sleeper cell') of LA Cacophony Society. We have been working on hand-crafted scratch-made Krampus costumes & masks for about a year, and we are the first Krampus run in the Western US. These events were contrived, in part as a response and alternative to the Santacon mess we Cacophonists set loose oh, so many years ago. The first official event is 12/7, the costumed 'Krampus Ball' with traditional Bavarian folk dancing, alpenhorn, as well as costumed bands like 'The Kramps' and 'Krampwerk.' Read the rest