Krampus in Klagenfurt, Austria

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In November, I went to my first Krampuslauf in Klagenfurt, Austria. Atlas Obscura bought the piece and some photos, and now I’m hooked on telling stories about the strange, beautiful rituals of other people.

Nothing rings in the holiday season like a parade of demented yak-like demons wielding whips, smoke bombs, and a chainsaw or two. Welcome to Austria’s Krampusnacht … Krampus is one of the most obvious living examples of pagan and Christian syncretism in Europe, and you can’t understand one half of him without the other.

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