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Sankt Nikolaus, Passau Germany

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Funny Cats Footage In Northern Germany, Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of …More
Funny Cats Footage In Northern Germany, Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5 December. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets overnight, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a stick (eine Rute) in their boots instead. Nicholas is often portrayed in Bavarian folklore as being accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht who inquires of the children if they have been saying their prayers, and if not, he shakes his bag of ashes at them, or beats them with a stick. Sometimes a Nikolaus impersonator also visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they have been good (sometimes ostensibly checking his golden book for their record), handing out presents on the basis of their behavior. This has become more lenient in recent decades, and this task is often taken over by the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas). In more Catholic regions, St. Nikolaus is dressed very much like a bishop, rides on a horse, and is welcomed at public places by large crowds. He has a long beard, and loves children, except when they have been naughty. This tradition has been kept alive annually.

In Austria, Bavaria and Tyrol (Austro-Bavarian regions), St. Nicholas is accompanied by Krampus, represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. Krampus is thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, and to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore; however, its influence has spread far beyond German borders, in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Croatia. 5 December is Krampus Night or Krampusnacht, in which the hairy devil appears on the streets. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Sometimes accompanying St. Nicholas and sometimes on his own, Krampus visits homes and businesses. The Saint usually appears in the Eastern Rite vestments of a bishop, and he carries a ceremonial staff. Nicholas dispenses gifts, while Krampus supplies coal and the ruten bundles. (Video Krampuslauf Lienz 2010) Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_N...