By Erin Burns

Krampuslauf. If you said that phrase to any American child, they would have no idea what you are saying. However, it is rare to find a child in Austria who has not taken part in this tradition.

St Nikolaus Day is the 6th of December. For the days leading up to this, one might see a Krampuslauf occurring throughout busy city streets, or on major market places. Members of the community dress up in atrocious masks, chasing people through the streets and hitting them with whips. The intention is not to injure anyone, it is all in good fun, and a tradition used to keep children behaving so that the Krampus won’t come. Many UP students experienced this themselves when visiting the Domplatz on December 5th. With mixed reviews, some students found the tradition fascinating and bragged with each other over who had gotten hit the most, while other students ran the other direction. Regardless, it was a perfect view into Austrian culture.