- Although Krampus appears in many variations, most share some common physical characteristics. He is hairy, usually brown or black, and has the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. His long pointed tongue lolls out.
- Krampus carries chains, thought to symbolize the binding of the Devil by the Christian Church. He thrashes the chains for dramatic effect. The chains are sometimes accompanied with bells of various sizes. Of more Pagan origins are the ruten, bundles of birch branches that Krampus carries and occasionally swats children with. Sometimes Krampus appears with a sack or a washtub strapped to his back; this is to cart off evil children for drowning, eating, or transport to Hell.
- Sometimes accompanying St. Nicholas and sometimes on his own, Krampus visits homes and businesses. A Krampuslauf is a “run” of celebrants dressed as the beast, often fueled by alcohol. It is customary to offer a Krampus Schnapps, a sweet liqueur.
He’s a drunken child punishing goat-demon who “carts off evil children for drowning, eating, or transport to Hell.” Now this is a mythical beast I can get behind; he’s a fucking party animal.