Krampus is a mythical creature recognized in alpine countries. According to legend, Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children.
In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria and southern Bavaria, especially the market town Berchtesgaden, during the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells.
(See also: traditions in other countries that are infinitely cooler than American traditions.)