Krampus Run around the Munich Christmas Market

Krampus vor Rathaus, Foto: Immanuel Rahman

They look scary - but actually they’re totally harmless: 300 masked beings frightened passers-by during the big traditional run of the Krampusses via the Munich Christmas Market on Dec 11th, 3-5pm. The scary fellows of the 1st Munich Krampus group Sparifankerl Pass with their shaggy fur costumes will run around a second time on Dec 18th, 4-5pm.

Photos: Thrills at the Krampus Run

Route maps: Here they run!

The Krampus tradition

Krampuslauf auf dem Marienplatz, Foto: Immanuel Rahman

The Krampus is the scary assistant of kind Saint Nicholas. Whereas the latter likes to turn a blind eye when children are naughty, the Krampus prefers to rattle his chain in a terrifying manner, to attain the required level of respect and to reprimand his disagreeable contemporaries. The Krampus Run dates back 500 years to a tradition from the Alpine regions. As early as the 16th century, the so-called “Klabaufs” paraded around: Schoolchildren, choirmasters and school teachers of the Frauenkirche and St Peter’s church dressed up as bishops and caused so much unrest that the policed had to be summoned. The tradition of the Krampus Run is once again very popular, especially among young people.

Simply a wonderful Christmas

Experience festive concerts, cultural inspiration at the Tollwood Festival or cosy strolls around the Christmas markets. Munich offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy Christmas.
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Elaborate and expensive costumes

, Foto: Immanuel Rahman

The elaborately designed costumes are reordered every year and differ according to the figure portrayed. The “Perchten” who were originally used to drive away the winter, wear between 4 and 10 horns, while the Krampuses can be recognised by their two-horn mask. One costume costs between 1800 and 2500 EUR. But the Krampus outfits are not only expensive but also really heavy to wear. A mask can easily weight up to 10 kilograms - no wonder that the runners are really out of puff after the Krampus run...

The first Munich Krampus group: Sparifankerl-Pass

, Foto: Immanuel Rahman

Die Münchner Krampusgruppe Sparifankerl-Pass läuft seit 2004 alljährlich über den Christkindlmarkt. Der Gründer der 20 Männer umfassenden Gruppe, Tom Bierbaumer, möchte das alpine Brauchtum wieder in die bayerische Landeshauptstadt bringen und organisiert den großen Krampuslauf. Er betont, dass der Münchner Krampus ein lustiger Teufel sei, der auf dem Schaulauf hautnah zum Anfassen und Bestaunen zu sehen ist und nicht, um unartige Kinder zu rügen. Meistens fürchten sich laut Bierbaumer ohnehin nur die Erwachsenen und nicht die Kinder.

Watch out for the Krampus!

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