It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch—apart from its phallic significance—may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to 'bind the Devil' but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites.Maurice Bruce, 1958
The Saint Nicholas festival we are describing incorporates cultural elements widely distributed in Europe, in some cases going back to pre-Christian times. Nicholas himself became popular in Germany around the eleventh century. The feast dedicated to this patron of children is only one winter occasion in which children are the objects of special attention, others being Martinmas, the feast of the Holy Innocents, and New Year's Day. Masked devils acting boisterously and
making nuisances of themselves are known in
Germany since at least the sixteenth century
while animal masked devils combining
dreadful-comic (schauriglustig) antics
appeared in Medieval church plays. A large
literature, much of it by European folklorists,
bears on these subjects. ... Austrians in the
community we studied are quite aware of
"heathen" elements being blended with
Christian elements in the Saint Nicholas
customs and in other traditional winter
ceremonies. They believe Krampus derives
from a pagan supernatural who was
assimilated to the Christian devil