Krampus Ruten

So it’s nearly Christmas and you’re wondering what to get for the wife/kids… How about a home made, traditional symbol of Alpine Pagan origin reported to be wielded by a sinister creature of Austro-Bavarian folklore? Enter, Krampus – is he the harmless, yet impish sidekick to Saint Nicholas, or the cannibalistic terror of Germanic children throughout the millennia? You decide…

krampus-1

Evidently, Krampus is the new poster child for the holiday season. He is bang on trend, (much in the way that all of a sudden Polar Bears are a Christmas animal… this is a mystery to me… ) With a new film out, Krampus is the newest rediscovered folklore phenomenon. And as he’s trendier than oiling your beard whilst drinking a flat white, I’m totally jumping on this bandwagon…

Krampus is, depending on which Krampuskarten (Krampus card) you have been sent this year, is either a wench-ogling dirty old man, a child-drowning (and eating) kidnapper, or a pestilence to naughty children, chasing and whipping their behinds with his weapon of choice – the Birch Ruten! These bundles of birch twigs (pictured in the stamps and images above) are exchanged as christmas gifts in Austria. So I dragged my mate Nige out to our local heathland on our lunch break today, as we thought we’d make a few and show you how to do it!

“Bundles of Gold-painted birch are hung on the walls year round… as a reminder for children to be well-behaved… so they do not have to endure the wrath of Krampus.” – J.A. Galvan

The ruten below are made by bundling up thin twigs of freshly-cut birch and using a technique called ‘whipping’ (how appropriate!) to create a decorative, yet firm binding. I haven’t bothered to spray paint my ruten gold, as that’s, well, just a bit tacky, but I did make a few tiny ones to hang on my tree! Roll over the images below to see the stages…

Then, of course, you’ll need a cup of tea after all that hard work, so I cracked open the kelly kettle and christened my new hobo stove!

One Reply to “Krampus Ruten”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s