Krampus and Perchten Runs
Advent in Salzburg
Perchten and Krampusses (wild spirits) in many different styles and shapes can be seen throughout the Bavarian and Austrian alpine region during the winter season. They are frightening and not very appealing to the eye.
"Krampus" is the untamed, shaggy spirit that accompanies St. Nicholas. Krampusses usually roam in larger groups. Their traditional costumes and masks are elaborately handcrafted. Krampusses can usually be encountered on and a few days before December 6.
"Perchten" are wild pagan spirits widespread throughout the Austrian and Bavarian region. The appear alone or in groups, especially on three specific winter nights, called the "rough nights," i.e. the night before St. Nicholas (December 6), before the winter solstice (December 21) and before Epiphany (January 6). They carry bells and other loud instruments to dispel the winter.
Nowadays the originally different Krampus and Perchten customs have merged into one in many regions.