Wednesday 5 December 2007

Krampus Day

Living in Vienna
is full of days of wine and roses,

but when the days
grow shorter

and nights
start creeping up
on you

at four o'clock
in the afternoon,

a mysterious transformation
takes place.

Rose bushes get wrapped with burlap,
turning proud garden queens into bag ladies.

No more
is it a proliferation of blooming roses
that lines your paths,
but paper wrapped pots of red and ivory Poinsettia,
sitting like silent congregations
in front of flower shops.

They stare at you,
flaming red, one-eyed, full of resentment
that instead of taking one of them home,
you fell in love with a white Amaryllis.

You hold your flower tight,
and hurry home
through dimly lit
narrow medieval streets.

All of a sudden
your every step

from ancient walls.

You walk faster,
trying to escape

all those shop windows
assaulting you

with enigmatic displays
in red and black.

You can't help
but notice that

among the innocent looking displays,

little furry horned creatures
are lurking,

as if waiting for prey,

with large whicker panniers,
chains in hand.

Just when you feel close
to loosing your sense of composure,
you turn the corner.

There sheltering light
from large glass chandeliers
falls out onto the pavement,
reaching out to you,
offering shelter.

Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December and particularly in the evening of December 5 and roam the streets frightening children (and adults) with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas also slight birching especially of young females by the Krampus is part of tradition.
(Source: Wikipedia)

After St. Nicholas' visit
He has left chocolates,
apples, nuts, and clementines.


  1. Great, fun post - I have never ever heard of the Krampus before!
    I was reading your post and thinking "what is going on over in Vienna - why are they doing Christmas monsters?"
    We have Bunyips here - but they aren't just for xmas.
    I loved the photo of the roses wrapped in Burlap bags!- I've never seen that before either!

    I felt like I had to mention Krampus at last. It is a veritable seasonal event, with many of the shop windows decorating in the Krampus colors, black and red, and the pastry shops and bakeries doing their share of creating sweet images of him.
    The burlap wrapped roses can be visited in the Volksgarten, in the rose garden. They appear quite animated, expecially when night has fallen, like armies waiting for the call to march.

  3. Love this post! Brings back lots of memories...

    But there are pictures missing! And in "One fine day in november", too! What happened! I don't want to be cheated out of any of your great pictures...

  4. A delightful entry!!!


    As you can see, you taught me well, now the pictures are back. Thank you! Thank you also for being there to create the sweet memories.

    Thank you. :-)

  6. There is beauty everywhere in your photos.


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