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Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:53 PM

A question about schools and holidays [View all]

I have a question that I would like to hear opinions on.

I think that generally it is a good idea to introduce children to other cultures and other beliefs.

So here is my question. Today is Dec. 6. Do you think it would be a good idea at a public school for Krampus to visit fourth grade classrooms?

It happened in my children's school today. I know it was with good intentions of teaching about folklore. The German teacher dressed as Krampus and came into a math classroom, slapped desks with a stick and gave a boy a lump of coal. And the folktale was explained that in Germany Santa Claus keeps the nice list, an Krampus keeps the naughty list and brings naughty kids coal, spanks them with a switch, and carries children off in a sack to eat them.

Some of the kids were pretty freaked out.

Was this OK?

I feel bothered by it, but I'd like to hear some other opinions that might talk me down.


Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.

Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore; however, its influence has spread far beyond German borders. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Croatia 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. 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.

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