Krampus is the stuff of nightmares. His name is derived from the German word Krampen, or to claw, and the night before Nikolaustag (Saint Nick’s Day) the beast creeps into town and beats the children into being nice. Of course, New Orleans will be feting this anti-hero with a mini-fest on December 5.
“Krampus is the Christmas demon, the opposite of Santa. December 6th is Saint Nick’s Day, and it is when he brings the children oranges and treats and puts it into their socks, but the night before is when Krampus comes and he whips the bad children and takes them away to his lair,” said Elizabeth Zibilich founder of Krampus Gras.
In NOLA, the fest is in its second year, but the world has been celebrating Krampus and his malicious benevolence for much longer. “The fest is held all over the world, mostly in Eastern Europe, one of the largest is in Graz, Austria. In the states it has become more mainstream over the years, so many parts of pop culture have already started on the Krampus phenomenon, including American Dad.”
The Christmas nightmare queen says she has always been fascinated by the festival. “It has become more and more popular, and I have always wanted to do this. Last year, I decided to put this together and I named it Krampus Gras first as a nod to New Orleans and its culture but also as a nod to Graz in Austria.”
Held at Siberia, the event will feature a Naughty or Nice Candy Seller who will determine if someone has been a good boy or girl this past year, a Lascivious Santa, and a photo booth.
Krampus can take many forms, either as the demonic figure with sharp horns, cloven hooves, and a long pronged tongue or as a sinister gentlemen dressed in black, or a gigantic hairy beast. Guests are strongly encouraged to dress up for the event either as Krampus or as a naughty child. There is a costume contest, and the best Krampus will be crowned King of the Krampii. But whatever appearance one chooses for the sinister beast, make sure to remember the chains, which he uses to swat the naughty children.
The entertainment for the night will include a sideshow featuring Lydia Treats, burlesque performer Mistress Kali, and the tunes will be orchestrated by Alexandra Scott and BONES. In addition, “there will be an Action Action Reaction dance party towards the end of the night.”
General Admission tickets are $12 or $15 dollars at the door and membership is $50. Membership amongst other things includes access to the first ever Krampus Gras parade before the main event. “It’s more of a bar crawl type of thing, it has a secret route, and I can’t tell you where it’s heading but you can expect to be at Siberia at about 10p.m.”
Kukhnya at Siberia will be open.
“I’m excited for the whole evening, people are seeming ready to get into this, word on the street has been excitement and I’m glad people are really starting to get into this now, and supporting the Musicians Assistance Fund which is really important.”
The event will benefit the New Orleans Musician's Clinic.
Doors open at 9p.m. Siberia is located at 2227 St Claude Ave, New Orleans.