For the sixth year running, dozens of European-inspired Krampuses ran through the streets of downtown LA last night dispatching spankings to the deserving, while the well-behaved among us were protected by the benevolent St. Nicholas. The Krampus Run, or Krampuslauf, held in conjunction with the DTLA Artwalk, is one of the main events of Los Angeles’ Krampus festivities, along with the Krampus Ball and tonight’s Krampusknacht at The Red Lion Tavern.
Starting at 8:00 PM., the Tavern will offer drink specials, contests, and either a swat from Krampus’ switch or a kiss on the cheek from St. Nick. The event is a fundraiser for the Midnight Mission. Please bring donations of towels, bottled water, Zip Lock bags, hygiene products and canned food for entry. The first 25 people bringing donations will receive free glassware.
More photos after the break!
Where did the Krampus come from? Since the mid-1800s, Krampus, the horned beast of Alpine legend, has been carrying on the tradition of St. Nicholas’ dark companions who punish the naughty children as a counterpart to his benevolent rewards of gifts and sweets. Costumed in animal pelts and horns, villagers playfully chase children around with switches. Although the rugged topography of the Alps kept the folklore of Krampus regional for many years, it was just too much fun to be ignored and spread to America in the 21st century. In Los Angeles, the Krampus group was spearheaded in 2013 by Al Ridenour and Al Guerrero, veterans of The Cacophony Society and Santacon.