Krampus runs and Saint Nicholas Day
As Christmas approaches, Salzburg is renowned not just for its dazzling markets and calming carols. It also has a special place for processions of evil creatures - Krampus! This ancient pagan tradition in the Alpine region is closely linked with the Christian festival of St. Nicholas (6th December). During this festival, Krampus terrifies disobedient children while St. Nicholas rewards the obedient ones. The events featuring Krampuses usually start around two weeks before St. Nicholas.
During a certain time of the year, the streets of Salzburg and surrounding villages are filled with people dressed as mummers wearing fur coats, horns and fangs. They walk by crowds of onlookers, cracking their whips to eerie music, torches, and ringing bells. This tradition is deeply rooted in Austrian society, so much so that parents even bring their young children to the processions. Each procession usually lasts for an hour or two. If you plan to visit Salzburg during this time, it's important to find out where and when these processions will occur. Otherwise, you may end up getting attacked and whipped by a crowd of devils without understanding why.