You better watch out: 9 things to know about Krampusnacht

Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town this holiday season.

For those who appreciate the dark side of Christmas, Krampus and Krampusnacht may be just up your alley.


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Here are 9 things to know about the dark and scary Christmas tradition and its roots, plus ways to celebrate it here in Orlando.

1. The origin of Krampus is believed to predate Christianity.

2. The tale goes something like this: Krampus and his army of elves would travel with St. Nicholas and cause mischief and mayhem. Parents would scare their disobedient children by warning them that Krampus was coming to get them.

3. Krampusnacht is celebrated on Dec. 5.

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4. The Krampusnacht “holiday” is celebrated the night before the Feast of St. Nicholas, which is celebrated in parts of Europe on Dec. 6.

5. Krampus has stayed relevant through pop culture, even inspiring a hit 2015 movie that eventually spawned a maze at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

6. Though big in Europe, Krampus and Krampusnacht have also inspired big celebrations across the United States, including here in Orlando.

7. The Milk District will host KrampusFest again this year, promising to bring the Alpine spirit to Orlando. The one-night-only event lasts from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature live music, vegan and non-vegan food, Christmas vendors, costume contests, a parade and “plenty of punishment.” The event is free, but attendees are asked to reserve tickets ahead of time. Click here for more information.

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8. Hollerbach’s, the German restaurant in downtown Sanford, will again host its Krampusnacht festivities. The free event kicks off at 6 p.m.

9. Icebar Orlando on International Drive will host its Twisted Krampus 4 party Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10. Click here for more information.

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Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.