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Krampus festival: devils, monsters and beasts galore!

Photos Logo Photos | Slide 1 of 10: A man dressed in a traditional Perchten costume and mask performs during a Perchten festival in the western Austrian village of Huben November 22, 2014.

Krampus festival: devils, monsters and beasts galore!

In what has to be the most terrifying of all Christmas traditions, in the week leading up to the Feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6 the horned and hairy Alpine beast known as Krampus runs riot on the streets of Austria, Bavaria and beyond. In Germanic folklore, Saint Nicholas rewards well-behaved children with gifts, while his devilish counterpart hunts down the naughty and the mischievous, hitting them with birch twigs and, if he's fast enough, capturing them in his sack and carrying them off to their doom. Click through for more pictures of Krampus festivities.
© DOMINIC EBENBICHLER/Newscom/Reuters
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