Krampus Is a Big Deal in LA -- Here's Why, and Where to Celebrate Him

Published On 11/29/2016 Published On 11/29/2016
Traditional Krampus masks | Budimir Jevtic/Shutterstock
Krammpstein | Phil Glau
Dec 2
Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 S. Ave 57, Highland Park.
The annual highlight of Krampus season is always both charming and creepy, beginning with some good old-fashioned Austrian traditions, then descending into chaos as judgement approaches. This year, there will be traditional Austrian music and dance, puppetry, bands, cookies, Stiegl beer, vendors, and, of course, the arrival of two dozen devils to cast judgement on each and every gathered reveler. This event is 21+, and tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door.
Dec 8
Winston St between Main and Los Angeles in DTLA, afterparty at The Regent, 448 S. Main.
See a parade of decked out devils, including a steam car that ferries St. Nicholas down the streets. Those among you with your own Krampus costumes are invited to participate, while mere mortals will have to settle for spectating. (Runners must send in a photo of their costume by December 7th.) Afterwards, head on over to The Regent for tunes from Rosemary's Billygoat, who Ridenour described as a "faux-Satanic costumed rock spectacle," and Sapphic Musk, who are described as a "Nordic lesbian Viking metal" band. The parade is free and family-friendly, the afterparty is free with RSVP or $10 without.
Dec 10
The Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd, Torrance, 8pm
A bizarre yet enchanting mash-up will occur when Krammpstein, a Krampus-themed Rammstein cover band fronted by Green Jelly's Greg Reynard, joins forces with Marilyn Krampson. (Uh, yes, same deal, but with Marilyn Manson tunes.) Take it from us, these bands are just as weird and incredible as they sound, and Krammpstein also gives out Christmas cookies while they play. Also performing is Talea, “a unique mix of ambient/electronic soundscapes, tribal percussion [and] ambient and abrasive guitar,” and We Beastie, a Bay Area group who will don Krampus outfits and lead carols. Krampus LA members will be present to deliver switchings to the naughty, and of course, German food and drink will be available from Alpine Steinhaus. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Dec 11
Church of the Angels, 1100 Ave 65, Pasadena
Enter the beautiful Gothic Revival Church of the Angels for a presentation an authentic Nikolausspiel, or, Nicholas Play, an 18th-century tale that is believed to be one of the earliest accounts of the Krampus' origin. They've translated and selected only the most stirring scenes, which include "the Krampus, Lucifer, butchered children, and the inexorable power of Death, all represented in bouncy rhyme." There will also be traditional tales and songs from Austrian siblings Michael and Monika Kaufmann, an appearance by that aforementioned steam car, and a 25-minute screening of the the Krampus documentary Tuifl with filmmaker Hannah Jakubowska.