When: 2nd December 2017, 3.30pm – 6pm
Where: Whitby, North Yorkshire
What is it?
As Father Christmas makes his annual visit to towns across the UK for the festive season, there’s another, much darker character making his way to Whitby in North Yorkshire.
The horned figure of Krampus will be heading to the seaside town for the Whitby Krampus Run III. Taking place on Saturday 2nd December, the costumed parade led by St Nicholas will be wending its way down Church Street, collecting for Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary.
Krampus is a traditional figure in Christmas festivities across many European countries, including Austria, Croatia and Slovenia. Krampus, a demon-like character from folklore, acts as a dark and mischievous counterpart to St Nicholas. According to tradition, on the eve of the Feast of St Nicholas (5th December), the saint visits homes and gives gifts to good children. Saint Nicholas is accompanied by Krampus, who teases and punishes the naughty children.
Krampus festivals, or ‘runs’, are popular across Europe and in the United States, but until recently have not been held in the UK. The first Whitby Krampus Run was held in 2015, and was well received (even by the naughty children). So the event is returning again this year, with its own take on the age-old European tradition, weaving in local folklore, history and wintry figures alongside Krampus, Perchten and St. Nicholas.
The run aims to be an alternative Yule celebration, bringing the wonder and excitement of the season back to the quaint and cobbled streets of Whitby, turning the East side into Krampus Town. This year’s costumed parade will finish with a special finale, where the public can decide who to crown ‘The Thing of The North’.
The event is family-friendly, although parents should be aware that Krampus may be seen as a scary figure by small children (but of course good children have nothing to fear).