Friday, December 26, 2008

Easter Krampus?

This postcard design is from an artist in a recent post in this here blogsite. I searched through my krampus postcard book and realized I have a number of this particular artist's cards. I find his/her style to be the most original, as I hinted to in my previous post. I plan on researching more on this artist to be able to reveal their name and origin.
What I find the most interesting after studying this design is the use of pussy willows as the bundle of sticks that the Krampus would use. Also note the crafty way of using catkins as ligaments for the mini-krampuses. Methinks that this postcard may come from the Ukraine or Poland but most likely Bavaria, since they still celebrate this nefarious looking mythical creature. Albeit more modern (Southwestern Bavaria also recognize a character much like the Krampus called Wilde Mann which is Krampus sans horns). The reason is due to the fact that numerous East European folk would carry pussy willows instead of palm branches on Palm Sunday since palms didn't grow that far north.
Also, since the krampus is more of a pre-Christian Alpine symbol (representing the first 2 weeks in December and accompanying St. Nikolaus), the use of pussy willow may lead me to believe this is depicting the character Perchta (Slovania) because this character, although similar in creature-like features and may or not come from the Nordic goddess Freyja, was recognized from the last week of december into the first week of January*. This would suggest that the removing of the catkins from the branches to make a birch rod (not necessarily made of birch wood) hints of the coming of Winter. Although this can also be described in the Krampus mythos as well since pussy willows could have lost their kitty characteristic by the first of month as well.
So, it is hard to come up with the region of where this postcard originated. I think I've narrowed it down some, though. kinda/sorta?

*The Krampus and Perchten "monsters" eventually shared the limelight in many cultural events in this area of the world which lead to the loss of distinction of the two. Although there is more romantically supernatural reasoning behind the Perchta, it is definitely not as memorable of a character from the ancient days.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Krampus the Beer

So, I'm celebrating the Christmas season with my wife, her parents and her Uncle Bob. Great guy. Gets really thoughtful gifts. So, knowing that I appreciate this European story of the Krampus and all things related to the BAD side of Santa, Bob the Uncle has given me this 22 oz. bottle of Imperial Helles Lager from Southern Tier Brewery. This combines 2 of my favorites things: Beer and Krampus. So, of course, he gets me a bottle since I make and send out these Krampus Kards every year. It helps that I like micro-brew beers and most European-style brewing. I am looking forward to trying this out, but I feel compelled to share it with Bob the Uncle and my Father-in-Law. We all enjoy all sorts of brew. Funny things is, it would be naughty of me if I didn't. Which would make sense considering the theme...

stay tuned...

Check out the zoom of the beer label here. Enjoy responsively.