EVER heard of the Christmas Krampus?
A Christmas-y story in USA Today tells of four legendary characters, other than St. Nick, who share the Christmas spotlight with him in Italy, Austria, and elsewhere. Two are naughty and two are nice.
Krampus, which comes from the German word claw, is a “yeti-like creature” who punishes bad children with a whip and places them in a basket on his back, according to the Associated Press.
La Befana, sometimes referred to as the Italian Christmas witch, has red eyes, thick lips and an eerie expression, according to a description from The New York Times. She is usually covered with soot from going up and down chimneys, and, of course, flies on a broom.
Russian Santa Claus Ded Moroz is thin and wears an ankle-length robe, and holds a scepter. There are no sleighs or reindeer accompanying this Santa. Instead, he rides in a troika pulled by three horses, according to the Times.
In Iceland, the Christmas Jolasveinars are known for their generosity and deciphering between good and evil.