As Father Christmas makes his annual visit to towns across the UK this weekend, there’s another, much darker character making his way to Whitby in North Yorkshire. From 12 noon today, you’ll be able to see the horned figure of Krampus and his legendary entourage as they gather at their grotty grotto before heading out to parade through the seaside town.
Who is Krampus?
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 returns annually, with its own take on this 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 into Krampus Town. Perfect for a town that’s famed for its Gothic Abbey, literary links to Dracula and the popular Goth Weekends.
Krampus Run 2022
This weekend’s Krampus Run starts parading through Whitby from the bandstand on Pier Road at 3.30pm. As ever, the event is family-friendly and you’re encouraged to bring whistles, rattles or things you can bash loudly to help drive the dark away. 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). And you may want to take some ear plugs as watching the parade is going to be noisy!
Before the parade, the Krampus Run are giving families the opportunity to visit the grotty grotto and sit on ‘thee throne’. There’ll be activities including face painting, magic and ‘kard’ making to keep little ones busy too. Plus, there’ll be merchandise and charity stalls, and a treasure hunt. After the parade, the fun continues with a fire performance at Dock End.
A Krampus Ball takes place at night with live music, performances and DJs. While Sunday sees more informal fun taking place as part of Thee Wyld Hunt.
The event raises money for Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary, so do help by donating money if you can.
When: 3rd December from 12noon and 4th December from 2pm
Where: Whitby, North Yorkshire
£: Free to watch (Tickets for the Krampus Ball cost £15 – £18)
More info: www.facebook.com/WhitbyKrampusRun