The Slovenia Times

Devilish creatures descend on Goričane

The 10th Krampus Night in Goričane. Photo: Sani Karić/STA

Several hundred scary, devilish creatures descended on the village of Goričane just northwest of Ljubljana as the darkness fell on 18 November to remind the children and adults who have not been on their best behaviour to mend their ways before Christmastime.

Krampuses, known as Parklji in Slovenia, usually accompany Saint Nicholas when he visits well-behaved children on 5 December on the eve of his name day to reward them with presents. The misbehaving ones get a stick.

This time the horned figures from four countries converged on Goričane for the 10th Krampus Night, filing in a long procession below the village amid raucous din, loud music and fire to the thrill of several thousand visitors.

The spectacle featured some 30 groups of Krampuses from Slovenia, Austria, Italy and Croatia, numbering roughly 600 demon-like figures in total. The event as a rule draws groups from several Alpine and pre-Alpine countries that have this tradition.

The figures wore a variety of costumes both traditional and modern ones, all meant to scare the spectators. There were several floats as well. "Most Krampuses design their own outfits, drawing great pride from this," the local tourist association said.

They say Krampuses gather before the start of the festive season and the arrival of the first of the gift-bearing men to remind the children to behave and to show them who will visit them if they do not.

By tradition Saint Nicholas brings gifts like oranges, dried fruit, walnuts, and chocolate to the children who have behaved well, while Krampus, with his birch rods, metes out punishment to those children who have not been on their best behaviour.

Jože Mohar, a representative of the organisers, told the Slovenian Press Agency that the event was modelled on the Krampus Run In Austria. It used to be a small affair, attracting just a few hundred visitors, but has grown bigger by the year.

The parade used to pass through the village, past the huge 17th-century manor or castle that Goričane is known for, but, having grown in size, it has since been moved to the road below the village.

Once the devilish parade was over, the visitors were able to loosen up at a party featuring live music and dancing.


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