The Krampus is a terrifying creature that accompanies St. Nikolaus as he makes his gift-giving rounds in some parts of Germany – thankfully not in the Rhineland.
The Krampus used to be the one who brought the sticks. He’d beat the kids with them if they’d been bad. Quite frankly, his appearance alone would be enough to terrify most children without the additional beating.
Only in the south
In the South of Germany you’ll come across the ‘Krampuslauf’ around December 9/10. This is where groups of people dress up in costumes that will scare the living daylights out of you. They march through the streets banging drums and generally terrifying the general public.
It’s not a thing in NRW, but if you happen to venture down south – beware – there’s a Krampus about!