Gimme that ol’ time religion, Gimme that ol’ time religion….
Yes, this is the picture of ol’ time religion, and it’s good enough for me. Long before a chubby guy in red and white felt became the face of Christmas, the beast called Krampus and other mummers like the Buttnmandl swept into European towns on a special December holiday, sparing the good little boys and girls but dealing punishment to children who misbehaved.
Sick of the saccharine, syrupy and over-Christianized Yuletide season, a number of people around the world are embracing the more ambiguous and libidinal Krampus tradition (although one might also appeal to Saturn or Bacchus at this time of year). Tonight, many villages in Europe and the Americas will reenact KrampusNacht with revelers dressed as punitive horned beasts. It seems a fitting time to track the geist in this zeit by tracking Krampus talk. Using NodeXL as a data mining engine, I’ve tracked down the ten websites about Krampus being most often linked to in Tweets on KrampusNacht 2013:
1. Alan Taylor’s photoblog of European Krampus figures readying birch switches to punish naughty “children” (usually not children but twenty-something drunk men). Taylor notes two of the many alternative names of Krampus in Europe: “Perchten” and “Tuifil.”
2. A Wikipedia article on Krampus for people trying to figure out the fuss.
3. Coast to Coast AM ditches UFO talk for one night and worries about the commercialization of Krampus. Someone go tell Linus.
4. Edmonton Metro notes the spread of a “Krampuslauf” (Krampus run) in this Canadian city.
7. Christianne Benedict shares a page from her comic in which Santa explains why kids haven’t managed to see him… “and live to tell about it.” Wink!
8. Redscylla is giving away “A Kiss from Krampus” to the supporters who bring the most web traffic to her blog. Has anyone called Linus yet?
10. Jason Callina gets on his religious high horse to insist, “It’s not ‘Happy Holidays’! It’s Merry Krampusnacht!“