It’s the most wonderful time for some fear.
While St. Nick rewards good children with gifts, Krampus does just the opposite, beating them with a bundle of birch sticks. And while Santa carries toys in a sack on his back, Krampus has a basket on his back, which he uses to haul off the worst of the kids.
Krampusnacht is typically celebrated on Dec. 5, or the night before the Dec. 6 feast day for St. Nicholas, although the dates for both can vary, especially as Krampus takes on a bigger role in pop culture.
Here are some scenes from recent Krampus celebrations: