Photos: Krampus is coming to town

Ross Otto, dressed as Krampus, frightens Dylan Welch.
Outside the Union Depot train station in St. Paul on Saturday, the European Christmas Market is in full swing. Shoppers are browsing handmade gifts and sipping mulled wine. Then they hear it. It's the sound of ball bearings rattling around in big steel bells. In the crowd, Ross Otto, dressed as Krampus, frightens Dylan Welch.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Santa Claus is everywhere around the holidays, from making appearances at malls to hawking soda in commercials.

But the holiday season wasn't always just brightness and presents. Some central European cultures have traditionally incorporated a figure called Krampus into the holidays. While Santa or St. Nicholas bring presents to good children, Krampus punishes children who act badly.

One group is working to introduce the Krampus tradition to Minnesota.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.