workshop at laurel hill cemetery!! (AND busking for LUX ARATI!)

•November 18, 2015 • Comments Off on workshop at laurel hill cemetery!! (AND busking for LUX ARATI!)

we were very excited when the historic laurel hill cemetery offered us space for our workshop this year! laurel hill is a special place, “leading the way in redefining cemeteries in American culture at large, proving daily that places of rest for the dead can also be sites of recreation, education and entertainment for the living.” well, we’d already seen an amazing ghostly circus there a few years ago, and had attended their halloween celebration this year — so we KNEW they did a great job.

we decided to run this year’s workshop as an “independent together” work day — no guest artist, no planned tutorial, just others helping others, or working on their own projects. that proved to be more exciting — and have more special guest stars — than expected! more on that later.

our other big focus was the continued construction of faux fire dance props — hoops, fans, and fire pots for kids. members of our FAVORITE fire and bellydance troupe, lux arati, came to workshop to help make props AND to choreograph some simple movies for the kids mini flow showcase for krampuslauf!

you will remember that we did a mini flow showcase for the first time at krampuslauf philadelphia last year. we gave the kids poi, spinning plates and hoops, played an of Montréal xmas track, and let them loose for a little over two minutes. this year we decided to get a LITTLE more organized. achievable… but also, a little something to reach for.

this year’s track? well, this is the year to honor him, so it is sir christopher lee’s “jingle hell”.

now, by no means would i consider giving away the surprise of all the choreography before the actual event! but this video of tara teaching béla his fire pot routine… well it’s just too wonderful to miss.

our whole photo album from the event is here. you will see that we had two cozy rooms PLUS a kitchen, which lent a lovely homey feel to the workshop. every year, the workshops are so different! i really think this was one of my favorites though.

so while we had many of our usual crowd there, some of them were doing unusual things. neil had brought a large-format camera, and film (film!) currently being handmade in new england. he got some interesting pictures.

we also had visitors whose work we had admired — and interacted with — for some time, but we had never met the artists in person! it was amazing to have asia eriksen of werepups and her whole family come to the workshop! asia’s daughter ember rehearsed for the flow showcase, and, as many here know, asia doesn’t just make werewolf babies anymore…

actual first response: "... is it a lamb?"

actual first response: “… is it a lamb?”


asia is the creator of our very own baby krampus, konstantin! an important member of the family, although we learned quickly, a krampus baby does NOT interact like a human baby when it comes to the rest of the family.

he has some dolls to help him learn how to put bad children in a bag.

he has some dolls to help him learn how to put bad children in a bag.


asia was working on another krampus baby at workshop, and her husband anders brought some latex krampus masks he had made. these are artists working in a really different medium than we are used to, and they were right there along with us!


thank you for the mask, anders.

thank you for the mask, anders.


we also met, for the first time, artist jeffro kilpatrick! jeffro had contacted krampuslauf philadelphia last year offering to do our poster — which had already been designed by lachlan herrick.

midyear, i was able to get in touch with jeffro he created, gratis, the poster for the amazing ASPERGER’S ARE US show that tucker and i helped organize at drexel university! and to our delight, he checked in again this krampuslauf season and said he’d just come to workshop to draw (even though we do have a poster in the works) — and that we could use his design as a procession route marker. super cool! and great to meet him — another huge fan of lance henriksen is always worth meeting!

it was a lovely, busy workshop and the very next day, we got a chance to give back to our lovely luxie ladies, who were having a fund raising event at our own liberty lands. we went to see the show — but our kids also wanted to give EXTRA support, with the power of BUSKING. on STILTS.

having walked with the hungry ghost busking troup during all souls in tuscon, the kids GOT busking. and they were ready.

having walked with the hungry ghost busking troup during all souls in tuscon, the kids GOT busking. and they were ready.


who is going to say no to kids on stilts carrying popcorn containers, asking for a dollar to support their favorite fire dancers? well — fewer people than if they WEREN’T kids on stilts! that is for sure.



handing the cash they’d made over to the dancers at the end of the night really made the kids feel empowered. whooo! nicole has devil eyes!


WOW. this entire account was of the weekend FOLLOWING the one where we went to tucson for all souls, and in between these weekends we went to a GWAR concert! we are trying to slow it down a bit this week. we are grateful as anything to LAUREL HILL CEMETERY, LUX ARATI, and all our krampuslauf family for making it another workshop weekend to remember in 2015!



within the last hour or so before leaving our house for the first krampsulauf philadelphia in 2011 — really, the moment in my life when i was least sure of what i was getting into ever — i received a message of goodwill and congratulations from a man named jhon. he was a stranger to me, from an organization called many mouths one stomach.

MMOS is a non-profit which promotes “festal culture”. i had never heard those words used together until jhon had approached me on facebook. i discovered he was also very involved with the all souls procession weekend in tucson, arizona, and his own more intimate processional winter project, LumiNight.

over the years, as krampuslauf philadelphia grew, and became sometimes scary, or lackluster, or irritating, or any of the things it can be in my mind the other 364 days of the year, jhon was there for me. he has always been there for me.

in 2014, tuscon artist mykl wells flew to philly, and we showed him a good time. and he showed us a good time. mykl was also deeply involved with all souls procession weekend, and running its workshops, and we learned a lot from him.

tuscon had, frankly, been very good to krampuslauf philadelphia. and it was time to return the favor.

krampuslauf philly kids at the airport, tuscon-bound!

krampuslauf philly kids at the airport, tuscon-bound!


early in november of 2015, we — me, ben, tucker, béla and claude, and also linda and ruby — few to tuscon to see how they do it there. it was the right year to go. the theme of the procession’s finale this year was “unmournable bodies”. this was meaningful to both tucker and to me, who have difficult deaths and impending deaths, of difficult people, to process in our lives. tucker chose to make a lantern and burn it in the urn at the end of the procession — i had a hard time choosing how to express my desire for closure, and claudia helped me, by wearing my mother’s wedding dress as part of her costume for the procession.



it was wonderful to meet jhon for the first time and take part in his portion of the weekend, the procession of little angels. this is a children’s procession for which the kids made wings beforehand, and processed through a park lined with altars — many of them honoring lost children.


jhon's a person!

jhon’s a person!


AFTER the procession of little angels — yes, the same night — we went to a music festival where the headlining band was of Montréal. if you know ANYTHING about our family you know how we feel about of Montréal! it was the first time our kids got to see them live, and this amazing bouncer got us front and center so the kids could be RIGHT up in kevin barnes’ eyeglitter. it was fabulous!


the amazing man!!

the amazing man!!

we had personal reasons  for attending this event this year. but always, where krampuslauf philadelphia is concerned, we take participation in the events that drive others’ hearts and creativity very seriously. we take giving back very seriously — even if it is only with our presence. we try to be the people we want to SEE at krampuslauf philadelphia. WE want to be responsible for our own fun, and some of someone else’s. we want to help make it happen. we want to connect. NOT just for our own little event under our own little name. to meet face to face with people we’ve only known as “facebook friends”. to see landscapes that are new to us. (claudia, walking to procession: “those are NOT MOUNTAINS. THAT’S JUST A BACKDROP.” sorry honey, those are actual mountains.)

this is what i love about festal culture and processional arts. you throw yourself in, and then it disbands almost before you know what has happened. you have connected so deeply and experienced so much and placed so much trust in the people who surround you… many of whom would be unrecognizable out of that context, without their makeup or masks. and yet, it creates relationships that last.

no one wanted to give up their wings, so on the morning we left tuscon, jhon had breakfast with us and accompanied us to the post office, where we mailed the wings to ourselves. they have arrived home to us in philadelphia safe and sound.

check out our whole round-trip album on flickr.


•November 16, 2015 • Comments Off on KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA VOICES: ROB SCHREIWER (talking to tucker collins)

why does krampuslauf philadelphia have “parade of spirits” as part of it’s official event title? (a detail important enough to me that i shut down our original page, and created a new page with the new title just for this purpose? you could have made that easier, facebook.)

the reason is rob schreiwer, who offered, in our blizzard year of 2013, to give in invocation as we began the procession, and used these words. his invocation was so moving that it has become an integral part of our ritual in philadelphia.

rob is a leader in the PA dutch heathen community (Urglaawe).

he is a teacher, a mentor, and brings a wonderful sense of community and connection to krampuslauf — as well as making his own community’s events available to us.

it was always my sense that tucker and rob have never gotten as much time to chat as they would like and they still probably haven’t! but this is a good start. our longest interview to date!

listen to the conversation as it is embedded below, or on soundcloud.

(transcription below)

TC: Hi, I’m Tucker Collins, this is Krampuslauf Philadelphia: Voices, and I’m here speaking with Rob Schreiwer today. He’s leader of the Urglaawe group of Pennsylvania Dutch Heathens.

RS: And the Heathen Contingent for Krampuslauf Philadelphia.

TC: Yes. Thank you for being here.

RS: You’re welcome.

TC: I guess I just wanna start by asking, how you heard about Krampuslauf, and what the draw was – what year was that?

RS: I actually heard about Krampuslauf for the first time… the first year was 2012 or 2011?

TC: I think it was 2011.

RS: I actually heard about it between 2011 and 2012, when others in the heathen community mentioned it to me. And as soon as I heard about it I was all excited because it was something I would have loved to have thought up myself! And so I turned out with the Heathen community then in 2012, and loved it to death, loved Amber, loved all you guys, and became more involved.

TC: And you – was that your first year, did you come as the Belsnickel?

RS: I came as Belsnickel the first year, yeah.

TC: Okay. Now – the Krampus is something which, coming from the Alps, I guess technically is a Christian tradition, but is there anything that’s like that for you guys?

RS: We have Belsnickel, obviously, but now the thing is – I can’t say that, I would not say that they’re a Christian tradition, I would not say that they’re strictly Heathen or Pagan traditions, I would say it’s kind of a fusing of the two. Perhaps, either Christian overlay, or perhaps just like fusing in Pagan things into a Christian idea. For our perspective we pretty much brought a Heathen mindset to everything but then again, that’s our religious structure. However, the good thing about this sort of thing is there’s room for all sorts of interpretations. And that’s the way that it should be. I think the world would be a lot happier place if people would let other people follow their ideas and explore their creativity and their own spirituality without trying to put them into a pigeonhole. Belsnickel’s a very complicated figure, as is Santa Claus. I personally do think that both figures have elements of the Germanic god, we name him Wudan but the Norse call him Odin, inside of it, fused of course with St. Nikolus and other characters from historical lore, and from centuries of experience and interaction with different regions of the world. But we tend to see him more – we see Belsnickel as the Wudan in his role of “seeker” – he is seeking out wisdom, seeking out people who rise to his challenges, which usually involve either answering riddles or an act of physical prowess if they fail at the riddle… a lot of this is based in Pennsylvania Dutch lore. And then for those who have actually succeeded in that, in meeting his requirements, they get rewarded when he comes in his Santa Clause phase. Again, I’m gonna stress again that Santa Clause is not just Odin or Wudan; it’s a fusing of different traditions, I believe, personally. But from our perspective, this is how we see it.

our first-ever view of rob in 2012! he was a stranger to us then, but not for long! (because of this costume he is still in my phone as "belsnickel".)

our first-ever view of rob in 2012! he was a stranger to us then, but not for long! (because of this costume he is still in my phone as “belsnickel”.)

TC: You mentioned Odin; we’ve got Belsnickel, we’ve got Krampusse, we’ve got St. Niklaus, all kinds of other things that people have brought to Krampuslauf; we also have the Habergeiß, Frau Perchta, and I come as the Cailleach, which is this ancient Celtic diety; all of these things, coming from all different areas, and they all have their own mythologies and stories – how does that make you feel as a religious leader, that we have all of these things coming together?

RS: I think it’s wonderful. No spiritual system, prior to the rise of organized dogmatic monotheistic systems has ever been monolithic. There’s always been variations by tribe, by region, by climate, and all those things are wonderful, because they’re all expressions of something unique that has taken place over the centuries. Just like all life is valuable, all culture is valuable. There’s something inherently, for me, just amazing about things that are able to live on over thousands of years just getting passed down with each generation adding something new or taking something out that is no longer relevant; and you see that when you’re at Krampuslauf. And it’s also interesting to see the similar themes that run through them sometimes. Especially within European culture, you’re seeing a lot of this “dark half of the year” kind of reflection, which is certainly present in Pennsylvania Dutch culture, and that is an important aspect, and then having the goddess Perchta or Berchta as we call her, in there, is also a reflection of that, and for us, Krampuslauf, much like many other – like Halloween, or as we call it Allelieweziel – and other celebrations are depictions of the Wild Hunt. That is certainly an old tradition that is certainly present in the Celtic and Germanic cultures. I think it’s a great thing. And I encourage more of it, I encourage more diversity of people, celebrating their roots and expressions of wherever they come from, or whatever calls to them.

TC: You brought up something having to do with climates and regions, and how you get variation even within what would still be considered one religion. The thing that that brings to mind for me is the idea of Greek mythology; where you were, and who you were, had a lot to do with which gods and goddesses you were praying to. We know those stories now, even today, because there’s value in the Hero’s Journey.

RS: And the same applies, again – talking also about regions, and even within Pennsylvania, there’s different ways of observing the same Belsnickling, which was originally – the time in December was the time of tricks or treats for the Pennsylvania Germans. Like I’d shown you a little bit ago, a little picture, from a Virginia newspaper, showing people Belsnickling back in 1910, and that just shows how widespread it was, for starters, wherever the Pennsylvania Germans settled —

TC: Even over a hundred years ago.

RS: Yes, and some of this stuff still continues in West Virginia and central Pennsylvania even now. Every now and again even I learn something that’s kind of new: back in January I had done a radio interview on a Lebanon (PA) radio station, and somebody had called in and she was talking about the guy we know as … Ewicher Yeager, or the Eternal Hunter, and in her particular area they kind of fused Ewicher Yeager with Krampus. She was talking about how in their area, how in their part of the Blue Mountain, the Eternal Hunter – whom, today, by the way, is his feast day in Urglaawe – that he would do similar things to Krampus. He would take the naughty children, and pack them up and throw them in a sack, or – but in our area, we never had that particular lore. I think there’s a little conflation, but it shows that some sort of Krampus mentality and understanding did live on in at least part of Pennsylvania Dutch culture. While Belsnickel dominates that whole darker being kind of aspect, at least something did live on. And I think that that’s fascinating too, ‘cause it just shows that even within an area relatively small, like Eastern Pennsylvania, you can have multiple traditions going on, at the same time, sometimes conflating with one another.

TC: You still get this sort of evolution and cross-mixing of the stories, even right in what is still essentially a locality.

RS: Yes. And I think identity – I mean, she identifies herself as Deitsch as much as I do, which is sort of funny when I heard that, and it makes sense to me, because knowing what I know of Ewicher Yeager, from our lore, I can see how they might make that conflation. We don’t have that, and I actually see the two as very disparate. Because I see, we tend to see Krampus as more of an animal spirit, while Ewicher Yeager is a deity.

TC: Can you expound on that? Like what those sorts of similarities are.


belsnickels in the richmond, virginia area, circa 1910. photo courtesy of rob schreiwer.

belsnickels in virginia, circa 1910. photo courtesy of rob schreiwer.

RS: Many people depict the Eternal Hunter as having horns. Being a horned god, and also is likely related to another deity that we have very scant oral lore on, but we know just enough about it to be able to make a connection between the two named Holler. And Holler would be the male counterpart of the goddess Holla, but he is associated with death. He’s the god of death, and we’re in November when everything is beginning to die off, so that’s one reason that he is honored, plus, there’s a story that rises out of the Blue Mountain, up there, and if you’re going East-West towards Pittsburgh you go through a series of tunnels, out beyond Harrisburg, you’re going through the same mountain at another part. Back during the Colonial Era in the 1700s, people had engaged in irresponsible farming, and the irresponsible farming in this case was they cleared too much land, they didn’t leave enough trees, and there was a – they had a drought, the soil eroded and blew away, and then when it rained everything flooded out… the Eternal Hunter was this god of death, that was essentially punishing them for not taking care of the land until they put out offerings of what they had left, which were cloth and hay – and that’s what we’re going to be doing on Saturday, that’s why I can’t be at the (Krampuslauf Philadelphia) building workshop, but then, he drove game over the mountain. So, he’s associated with the driving of animals and animal spirits. The primary relationship between him and Krampus is: people were terrified of him. Even when I was a kid – there’s a phenomenon that very rarely happens in the Blue Mountains where you suddenly feel that there’s a pack of wild dogs all around you. It’s an audible phenomenon… there’s a couple of explanations for it, one is that it could be the warm air bouncing off the side of the cold mountain, that’s actually making like a little pinging sound, but, the far more likely one is that it’s a flock of geese honking and – if you come to the Lehigh Tunnel, it’s wide open, and that sound is echoing. Either way it’s still kinda weird when it happens.

TC: It’s unsettling.

RS: It’s unsettling, and I remember being a kid, I was four years old, and we heard the noise, my great aunt said – “Ewicher Yeager is coming, get into the house!” and it wasn’t because they were afraid of him per se, but just that he is so big, and so large, that he could easily run over you and have no idea that he even did it.


So that’s the differences, but the main similarity is this element of just raw, like, hunter – he’s focused on his tasks. And the horns bring forward this animalistic kind of idea, like Krampus. Where we tend to differ really is Krampus you really always tend to see like a really truly wild animal spirit. Which brings us closer to another creature that I’m hoping you’ll see at Krampuslauf this year if I can get somebody to play it – which is Eizehanze. Which is an Iron John. Iron John is supposed to represent a tribe of humans who have lost their socialization.

TC: (patented Tucker laugh)

RS: Okay? And they live in the mountains, they’re supposed to live in the mountains, and – there are folk tales of this over in Germany too but they survive on here, and that these are essentially, like – they’re humans, who are very close to animalistic in their functions. Animals of the same pack don’t tend to treat each other as horribly as humans treat each other. Which is, by the way, one of the lessons of this character: how humans can be so advanced on the one hand, yet so beneath animals on another hand, which is, by the way, another lesson of Krampus, from our perspective: is that, you know, for as evolved as we are, we have to recognize that we’re part of the world, not separate from it, and we are therefore integrated with it and we have our own set of foibles that are unique, and the dark half of the year focuses on dealing with those.

TC: That my experience has been more of a transformation. That I become that character, for that time. And it is something that, to me, feels like sort of stepping beyond myself. Do you think that there is a benefit, or risks associated with this idea of stepping out of our normal human roles, and, if you want to say “pretending”, or trying to take on these roles of what would be considered a powerful being?

RS: In a sense what you’re talking about is kind of related to shamanistic practices. In a way – that you’re stepping out, or you’re bringing something in, but to answer your question – it’s not that easy to ask, because of course there are benefits and of course there are risks. A lot of it has to do with the person who’s doing it. I’m not particularly worried about you. Because I know you well enough to know why you’re taking on that sort of thing, and it’s not for – you know, your own power trip or to harm anybody else or to cause problems, it’s more for trying to bring forth an experience for yourself and the people around you, and to try to make it more real, try to make it – try to like be able to experience something that we all too often ignore in our world around us, which is the fact while we’re part of the physical world the other world is everywhere around us. And so in your particular case, I’m not so worried about it. I myself… I’m a little more reluctant for instance when I’m playing a deity, to try to take on the roles of that deity, because for me, I have to be very careful with that. Because I have to make sure I’m respecting the deity. So with Belsnickel I’m a little more – try to focus on the folk aspect of it. But now with Gedreier Eckhart, who I’m gonna be this year, who is Loyal Eckhart, the Loyal Servant of Holle, there I don’t mind taking that on, and becoming, you know… and the funny thing is that, the year that I (first) did that, which was the second year (2013) – the first year was Belsnickel, the second year was Gedreier Eckhart, the third year was Belsnickel again – but when I did Gedreier Eckhart, that was the year that Amber said to me, “Why don’t you lead the parade. I want you to lead the parade.” Which is kind of funny because that’s what Gedreier Eckhart does with the Wild Hunt. He leads the Wild Hunt announcing the coming of Holle or Berchta, so it’s just kind of funny because Amber and I seem to be falling into this strange set of roles that actually reflect the historic understanding of the Wild Hunt from certain Germanic tribes. And so in some senses, even if you’re not purposely going out of your way to try to take on certain aspects of whatever it is that you’re costuming as, it seems to happen anyway. Whether they’re acting it or whether they’re truly feeling it, it almost doesn’t matter. Either way, it kind of builds up the energy and brings the energy up which is one of the reasons that Krampuslauf in Philadelphia is particularly special. First off, Krampuslauf itself, the concept of it comes obviously from Europe, but we have traditions here within Pennsylvania which have always been here, like Belsnickel. So we’re tapping into things that are in this region and rose in this region organically when our people migrated here, and I would really love to see folks of Lenape descent, or something, bring some of the traditions from their – because I’m sure that they had some sorts of traditions that related to the dark sides or shadow sides or dealing with that. I would love to see that participation also, because that also is native to this region. So that’s why I’m saying it’s great to see all these different diversities and people expressing whatever calls them, whether it’s their own ancestry or something they’ve experienced in their life from where they live, or whatever, and just bringing it all out and let’s all just explore this side of ourselves, in a safe environment, obviously, and recognize that we are humans, we are all complex, you know, we can try to pretend that we’re all goody two-shoes, we can try to pretend that we don’t make mistakes or sin or have bad thoughts, but it’s far more realistic to say, “You know what? This is the shadow side of me. But I can learn to be in control of it.”


rob as gedreier eckhart, giving what is now the official parade of spirits invocation. drawing by artist len peralta (

rob as gedreier eckhart, giving what is now the official parade of spirits invocation. drawing by artist len peralta (

TC: The Cailleach, coming from Scotland, and being the deity which is not exactly common now – to me as someone who’s trying to relate back to the Scottish ancestry that I’ve got, I don’t feel like I’m disrespecting the Cailleach by envoking it. But that’s the way that I can honor it. In a world that to me feels like it’s on the verge of forgetting so many valuable things, by envoking it I’m keeping it alive a little longer.

RS: And that right there’s an excellent point. Because I spend so much of my life doing so many things with Germanic deities, including some of these far lesser-known deities that we may only have one or two references to anywhere, I think that that’s an important thing. And when I say, by the way, that – when it comes to deities – that’s more my own skittishness, mostly because if I believe that Belsnickel is Wudan, Wudan and I don’t have… you know, I’m far closer to Holle… and as time goes on I’m actually developing a much better relationship with Wudan. Particularly because I need to through Braucherai, and other things that I take part in, which is the healing practice of the Pennsylvania Dutch. So I think that there’s also a very good likelihood that we’re doing many of the same things; our terminologies, our understandings, are different. Does that make sense? Like for instance, I may be actually doing what you’re doing, but from my mind I’m not. But I may actually be doing it anyway. ‘Cause I gotta tell you, last year, I gotta tell you, there was nothing stopping me from hitting that boompah (see first photo for Rob’s boompah – a standing percussion instrument – Ed.) as I’m goin’ along, and I’m usually not quite that … loud. But I really brought it. And, like, two years ago, three years ago, I actually BROKE my boompah from getting into the Belsnickel role. Again, making the noise is a part of the whole thing. I just love that parade. I really do. I think it’s a wonderful expression, and it’s sorta funny when you had the Running of the Santas and you’re driving into the city to get ready for Krampuslauf and you get Santa Clauses all over the place, and then all of the sudden you have all these… wholly different kinds of creatures.

TC: We are not the Running of the Santas.

RS: No, we are definitely not the Running of the Santas. I mean I actually personally think the Running of the Santas is funny. It’s purposes are very different from ours. Ours is a combination of fun, spirituality, and true development of community. Look how many of us have become fast friends as a result of this.

TC: Just from this!

RS: Just from Krampuslauf. I mean, you know, the fact that we formed a Heathen Contingent where we have so many people who are excited about it, some of whom live far away and might not even be able to make it but they still are part of it. And then the “Heathen Traditions” banner that we sewed last year which actually we started sewing at the making workshop of Krampuslauf (2014).

TC: I remember that, I remember seeing you guys there. But at no point, when either you guys have been at the workshops, or we’ve been at Pagan Pride or anything else, I’ve never felt like – “You’re the Heathens, and we’re the people… who aren’t Heathens.” Or anything like that. There’s no – it doesn’t feel like there’s a separation. And there shouldn’t be.

RS: There shouldn’t be. You know, there are reasons to separate from some people. For instance, the thing I was talking about earlier, where people are committing acts of violence – I don’t want to be associated with them. But why wouldn’t I want to be associated with people regardless of what their spiritual belief is who have community welfare and friendship and camaraderie as the driving force behind them? It’s actually a beautiful thing. And it’s something that is all too uncommon in our society. But yet there’s people everywhere who are searching for this. It’s just nice when you actually come across it, and when you come across it in an authentic and organic way, which comes back to Amber and Janet and a few other people, who really go out of their ways to create something where people can thrive and share of themselves without having to worry about not fitting in.

TC: Thank you very much Rob. It’s been great talking to you.

RS: You’re welcome. See you all at Krampuslauf!



•November 4, 2015 • Comments Off on KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA VOICES: BRYAN EDWARD DEMORY (talking with tom coombe, aka ow tow)

bryan demory is certainly the biggest, baddest-looking krampus i think we’ve ever had at krampuslauf philadelphia. he has been coming since 2012, all the way from virginia (and yes! even in the blizzard of ’13)! he handcrafts his costumes and incorporates authentic components from europe as well (like the thirty-pound hairy krampus suit that is now out of rotation, but which i hope to see again someday).

bryan talks in this installment with tom coombe (aka “ow tow” to béla and claudia, ie “uncle tom”). they THOUGHT they were recording their conversation a few days ago but technology got the better of them, so they did it again! (that’s why you will hear tom refer to “the last time” they talked at the beginning of the interview.)

a virginia accent and laugh are a marvelous thing, i have come to learn.

listen to the conversation as it is embedded below, or on soundcloud.

(transcript below)


oh sure, he does not look that scary HERE.

oh sure, he does not look that scary HERE.


TC: This is Tom Coombe. And, I thought we’d get started. I think the first question I asked last time (when it didn’t record – ed.) was how you had heard about Krampus in the first place?

BD: Okay. Yeah, I had a friend who had actually been to a Krampus parade in Bertchesgarten, in Germany. And he had bought a suit, and mask, from Austria. And it wouldn’t fit him, so he basically he handed it to me. And that was about the beginning of it. That was about to six to eight years ago, I think?

TC: When did you start actually wearing that suit out in public?

BD: Oh, right after he gave it to me.

TC: But that’s not the suit you wear now when you go to events, right?

BD: No, this was the big white furry one, that was real mountain goat, and after a couple years of wearing it I guess the salt in my sweat has eaten up some of the leather inside. So, I repaired it once, and then I kinda retired it. So what I wear now is something that I built.


bryan demory in the blizzard of 2013 at krampuslauf philadelphia. photo by neil kohl. 12/14/13

bryan demory in the blizzard of 2013 at krampuslauf philadelphia. photo by neil kohl.


TC: Talk a little bit more about that, if you don’t mind.

BD: Basically I take synthetic and real hair, that you can buy in hair stylist’s places, and I sew them in strands on a vest. This way it avoids the leather and having to treat the leather, and the problems leather can cause, which, body heat and sweat – I wanted to avoid that, and I basically made – I took an under-armor shirt, and applied this stuff called Dragon Skin, that is like a silicone base, and that looks like skin once it solidifies; and it’s kind of a rubbery thing. So my arms look bare, but they’re actually under the shirt. And I made leather cuffs, I wear leather pants, I made these big leggings to cover my legs, and I have little curly-toed, they look like elf-boots, but they’re quite sinister – and I have, you know, the belt with many bells, and children’s shoes, and things like that hanging from it.

TC: How long does it take to put the whole thing together?

BD: It’s kinda hard to say because I keep adding and taking away. The mask itself – that takes about three months to put those together. From just getting the supplies and the horns to the – my mask also has real boar tusks in it, and horse hair, so you gotta get all the stuff in, and then you gotta do all the digging. And carving. And since I’ve had it I’ve carved different designs on the forehead, I’ve added a very long goatee to it, so it’s something that’s always changing as well. You constantly add and take away. So… years? (laughs)

TC: Is making costumes for events, this kind of event, is that something that you had been doing before?

BD: No, and it’s kind of a great way to get into creativity in other things. I come from a long line of artists, and it’s not just drawing and painting, it’s – if I’m not building something with my hands – I told someone the other day, if I’m not working with my hands, I’m dangerous. (laughs) For about a week I’ve been working on a suit of leather armor, that I’ve made for myself, and it’s really served no general purpose other than to keep from being bored.

TC: Do you ever anticipate wearing it out anywhere?

BD: Yeah, maybe… you never know. If I take the Krampus mask off, I look like a barbarian, ‘cause I have this big beard now. So I thought, well, why not build this big barbarian outfit, and that’s what got me into building this chest armor piece out of, like, twenty pieces of leather. It’s been fun.

TC: Did you know about Krampus before your friend had given you the suit?

BD: I had no idea! My mother’s from the Alps, and she never mentioned it, but she suffered under it! And after I told her about it, she: “Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah.” And I think she’s like, some things, you know, I guess the beatings she got, she wanted to leave in the past! (laughs) I don’t know.

TC: When you say, “She suffered under it,” do you mean that she was threatened with Krampus as a child?

BD: Yeah. Most people around her age, and I’ve known several Austrians that say the same thing, that they all – if they’re from that mountainous area, they all know what Krampus is, and you know, he has different names in different regions, I talked to a guy from Serbia the other day, and he even called it Krampus, so that was interesting. Yeah, I’ve talked to many, more, older Austrian people, and they’ll definitely tell you they know what Krampus is.

TC: Knowing that about Krampus, do you feel like there’s a burden on you to portray the character with some sort of respect?

BD: Yeah, I guess. To me it’s – I like the traditional stuff, I like the wooden masks, I like the use of that, and to study it a little bit, you know, because you get some interpretations, you don’t know, okay, this guy says this, that group says this, you know, it gets confusing, so – you grab what you like the best, and you run with it, and I’m not a leading authority on it, by any means! It’s just about dressing up. But it’s just a lot of fun. I’m one of the guys who likes to dress up. I don’t cosplay, but I do Krampus.


demory's tattoo, also in the blizzard of 2013. photo by sam moon rafferty.

demory’s tattoo, also in the blizzard of 2013. photo by sam moon rafferty.


TC: You said that you had been to the Philadelphia Krampuslauf, and the one in Richmond as well. What is it about Philadelphia that’s kept you coming back?

BD: It’s good people, it’s fun people, you know – I only see them on Facebook here and there, so I get to see them in person, and see each year the new creativity and new things that people come up with – it’s just a good atmosphere. You have the nice walk, and then you have the fire dancers and stuff like that, so it’s just a fun thing to be involved in, and there are cookies, there’s a fire, there’s just friendly faces – you know, it’s real brief, but you know, it’s a good time. And it’s dark, so you don’t really get to see everybody, every time. So each time, you might see somebody different.

TC: I kinda feel like the briefness of it, and the fact that it’s not a huge “event”, even though a lot of people have come to it, is part of it’s charm.

BD: Yeah, I agree as well, I mean – you don’t want something to get too big. Same reason that I like to go see bands in small clubs. You know, it’s more intimate. The bigger it is, the less you see the people you wanna see… it’s small enough, it’s good enough, and, you know, more people come every year, but I like it the way it is. It’s perfect.

TC: I’ve never gotten the sense that this is something that’s gotten “too big” or gotten out of control, or has been commodified —

BD: Right right. Yeah, I agree totally. It gets frustrating because when you realize the true whole thing about him (Krampus) is – he’s not a cool dude you wanna hang out with, you know. He has one purpose, and one purpose only. So – I laugh when they make guitar effects and beers about him – you know, that’s a bad way for him to get famous, is on beer, or guitar effects… he’s gaining popularity, I watched the History Channel the other day and they had this… horrible… rendition of him, but at least they mentioned him and stuff. You know there’s people partnering him with Santa Claus, and that upsets me, because they’re totally disregarding St. Nicholas, and, you know, the American way, let’s take something and bastardize it and mess it up a little bit… yeah, it’s frustrating, but you know, there’s nothing you can do about it.

TC: It’s upsetting to see him partnerered with St. Nicholas, or to see him separated?

BD: I see him partnered with Santa Claus. The Americans are always partnering – all, the “anti-Santa”… he has nothing to do with Santa Claus. The only thing I can tell people is “Hey, stop putting Santa Claus and Krampus in the same sentence.”

TC: With that in mind, I was wondering if you’ve seen the trailer for the… I guess there’s gonna be two Krampus movies.

BD: Yeah, and, you know, I got mixed feelings about it, you know, it looks fun, and like I said, you just wonder, how they’re gonna make it… I’ll go see it before I see other movies. It’s just gonna be interesting to see, and it’s gonna open the door for more people to figure out what he is… at least they’re using him like a bad guy, like he’s supposed to be.

TC: I think if Krampus was solving crimes or things like that, it would probably take away from the character.

BD: I’ve even seen him as a bad guy on “Scooby-Doo”, so, there you go. He’s gaining popularity.

TC: I think he’s definitely arrived, yeah. Bryan, thank you again.

BD: No problem!

TC: And again, I look forward to meeting you in person someday. (How did you MISS him? – ed.)

BD: Yeah, well, just look for the glowing eyes, there’ll be two of us this year, so come up and say hi.

TC: I will. Thank you again.

BD: Thank you!!


demory during the procession at krampuslauf philadelphia 2014. if we ever have weather like we did in '13 again, we will, indeed, just bowl. photo by neil kohl.

demory during the procession at krampuslauf philadelphia 2014. if we ever have weather like we did in ’13 again, we will, indeed, just bowl. photo by neil kohl.






for the purposes of our november 14th workshop at laurel hill cemetery — or just for your own making at home — there are two levels of fan fun to be had. believe me, just taking the wire clothes hangers and some tape gives you something that will keep some kids — not quiet, but very amused — for a long time.

this tutorial will give you that — a pair of dancing fans that in and of themselves are great fun. in our NEXT tutorial, we will show you how to kick it up to a pair of FAUX FIRE FANS. but let’s start with the basics!

online, we found a youtube video for making these fans that i will not even bother linking to. it more or less suggested that you “just bend the hangers to necessary shape”, and we know that there’s more to it than that, right? we know that because we have tucker.

“just bend the hanger” indeed.

if you want a pair of fans that match -- and if you eventually want

if you want a pair of fans that match — and if you eventually want “fire” fans — here’s how you want to go.

DO NOT PANIC if you cannot see these diagrams clearly enough or because they are not sized online so that you can lay a hanger over them. (they were hard to photograph as well.) we will have the diagrams at workshop! and even seeing them this way with the numbered points WILL in fact give you an easier time working on your own to get a nice symmetrical pair.

plus, we have more pictures.

here's how your hanger usually arrives. with a pair of needle-nosed pliers, you will begin to pull that first

here’s how your hanger usually arrives. with a pair of needle-nosed pliers, you will begin to pull that first “twist” open some to the left.

see? just pull it out a bit.

see? just pull it out a bit.

then take the

then take the “hook” portion and just tug it a bit to the right. you are widening the angle between that first wire “end” in the twist, and the hook. just getting them a bit further apart.

see? it’s gonna be hard to get confused here. tucker has really laid it all out. (we knew he would.) the next step will be twisting the “hanger” loop of your hanger and turning it so it is centered — and makes a nice loop for holding onto your fan.



and twist. see the paint flakes? that's gonna happen. just make a rudimentary twist between your two ends; this will end up covered safely in tape so that little hands will not be scratched.

and twist. see the paint flakes? that’s gonna happen. just make a rudimentary twist between your two ends; this will end up covered safely in tape so that little hands will not be scratched.

the next few steps are pretty self-explanatory, once you see the pictures. you are simply opening another space wider, by removing two of the bent angles near the top of the hanger (which will be the base or bottom of the fan). pliers can help to smooth it out, you can also use your hands as well to get the line you want. (again, if you wish to use our template, we will have it at workshop.)




the next few steps represent what you’d think of as “just pulling out the flat part of the hanger to round it out to be a fan”. there’s a little more finesse to it. have a look.




ok. now for the tape part. the tutorial we found really did sort of suggest, “just wrap tape around it”. we tried that, and it was… okay. but tucker figured out a better way. here, he walks you through it. (he’s making the second fan in a pair, so in the photos below, he is just making sure that the two shapes are nice and symmetrical.)



begin by tearing a piece of decorative duck tape into THIRDS. you’ll be using thirds, halves, and whole strips of tape. wrap some pieces of 1/3 wide tape around your “loop” at the bottom of the fan. (i know this looks like a loop to stick your finger in and whirl the fan around on, but trust me, you’ll all find out very quickly that’s not a good idea.)


now take a long piece of tape of a HALF width, and lay your wire fan shape on TOP of it, centering at the farthest points of the fan. leave a little at each end to double over; it won’t really matter where, in the long run.



now take that remaining half-width and lay it on TOP of the wire fan, right over the other one. now you have two right sides of tape going across the widest part of the fan, on both sides.


tuck tried doing this a few ways and found that the best way to get a nice smooth edge across the top curve of the fan was to take sort pieces of tape torn in one-third widths, and to put them all along the curve itself.




don’t panic, now it actually DOES get easier! according to tucker’s instructions, you really do, at this point, “just fill it in.” this is why we have been using solid colors rather than the fancy printed tapes for this step — because things are going in all directions. it doesn’t necessarily have to look messy. you can also decorate over it. but here, you are just going for coverage.




see where tuck’s fingers are pointing in the photo below? you want your tape coverage to come down to that line — where the large “fan” shape of your fan begins to open.



here’s a finished pair! they don’t have to “match” — these don’t!


REMEMBER: THIS STEP gives you a pair of dancing fans. to make a pair of faux fire fans requires making TWO pairs like this. (faux fire fans are heavier, and in making them, one pair of these becomes one fan with lights and battery pack sandwiched inside of it!) all the more reason not to worry terribly about your colors being exactly the same.

if the thought of going any further than this is exhausting to you, well, take a rest. this is a good pair of dancing fans! you can have a really good time with just these. don’t take my word for it…


•October 16, 2015 • Comments Off on KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA VOICES: MICHAEL DE LIA (talking with ben levin)

in our very first year, in 2011, i remember turning a corner in our original procession route — and there was a man with two clearly authentic and antique krampus puppets, bouncing on wires. i was so moved. i had never seen this person before in my life, and there he was — he had gotten AHEAD of us on our own route, and had surprised US!

now there is NO ONE who has ever been to krampuslauf philadelphia who doesn’t recognize Michael the Researcher. he comes with his own mini-museum, and YES, even in the blizzard of 2013!

this one-man historical society is this fortnight’s KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA VOICE. michael shares a lot of krampuslauf philadelphia’s core values. what a gift to have had him discover us, and we look forward to him every season.

listen to the conversation as it is embedded below, or on soundcloud.


(transcript below)

michael the researcher with his traveling mini-museum at krampuslauf philadelphia, 2014

michael the researcher with his traveling mini-museum at krampuslauf philadelphia, 2014


BL: This is Ben, and I’m speaking with Michael DeLia. Welcome!

MD: Thank you!

BL: So, let’s start with – what was it about Krampus in particular that you already knew about?

MD: I had known that he was the companion of Nikolaus; my mother was born and raised in Germany, and I used to tag along with her when she would go back in the 1970s and 1980s. I went one more time with her in the 1990s for a funeral, for her mother, and then in 2000 I started going to Germany and Austria on my own, and in 2002, I discovered in the museum in …… the Christmas museum, I discovered Krampus, and there were a number of decorations, and miniatures of him and I learned about the story about how he would accompany Nikolaus on his journey to all the homes, and I had gone to visit Germany two more years, and I brought back some of the souvenirs, and my mother and I went together again in 2004. We were in the Austrian mountain resort city of Tannheimer Tal (at the German Christmas Museum, or Deutsches Weihnachtsmuseum in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber)… and specifically on December 6th, and there we saw Nikolaus and Krampus, and years later I brought the story to America; I mentioned it to people and they were surprised to see me decorate with this devil-looking character, and I explained it was not the Devil, it was actually this companion of Nikolaus. And everyone was interested in hearing that story; and I’d always wanted to in some way bring the story of Krampus to the people here in America at the level that you have done; I was definitely glad to see your group putting on this event in Philadelphia.

When I mentioned Krampus to my mother – came home with the story – and the way that I explained it, she recognized it – the only difference was since she was from Germany in a city, she knew the companion of Nikolaus as Knecht Ruprecht. So after I explained it all she said “Well, I never grew up with Krampus, but I grew up with Knecht Ruprecht,” who was the German equivalent, and he was just a kind of an old, or grumpy man, who was dressed all in black or maybe grey, torn-up clothing, and she recalled how that, in the 1940s, she was in an all-girls’ school, and Nikolaus came in, giving presents and candies and pieces of fruit to the good kids, and Knecht Ruprecht came in and took this bad little girl away – and she knew and the others knew that this was a kid who had always caused trouble. Knecht Ruprecht actually grabbed her and took her out of the room. And she was crying and screaming, and it certainly left an impression on my mother. And the people in the classroom. That was what was done in the 1940s when it came to Knecht Ruprecht. I’m assuming Krampus in Austria had the same type of ordeal in those classrooms.

BL: I remember when we first came across you at the Krampuslauf you had a table. And you had a lot of memorabilia and stuff to show. What sort of is the story behind that?

MD: I’m the kind of person who likes to set up displays. If there’s an area that I’m interested in, I would want to purchase specific items so I could tell the story and provide visual aids. And the first year I brought with me these two wooden toys, where there was a coil attached to a ring so they would bounce up and down, and I brought two pieces of paper that I carefully took off of Lebkuchen that I picked up in I believe Salzburg, Austria back in 2002 or 2003. I brought those two to the first one, then the next one I set up the displays, and then a year later we had the snowstorm, so I set up a very minor display inside of a kind of makeshift tent or area with kind of like a tarp over it, and then last year, I had a wider display with some of the wooden handicrafts of Germany and Austria. I try to add a little bit, try to spice it up, and to give a little picture of what takes place over in those European countries. Of course the focus is always on Krampus, with, again, the pieces of paper that are on the Lebkuchen, or postcards, figurines, ornaments, different objects pertaining to Krampusnacht or Nikolaustag, since they are connected.

BL: Amber tells me that her first encounter with you, she was turning a corner on the first procession, and you were there, with the puppets.

MD: Yes! As a matter of fact I’m lucky, because I did catch it – I was almost late, because at that point I was not sure exactly where that park was. I know certain parts of Philadelphia and I was not familiar with that one. So I was lucky; I did catch the event. I’m not sure what I would have done with myself if I’d missed it ‘cause to me, that was huge. The fact that there was someone putting on a Krampus parade or Krampuslauf here in America, so I consider myself very fortunate that I was able to make it to that event. And you are right, I was standing there with those figurines bouncing up and down.

BL: It made a big impact. What, for you, has been the biggest part of it, over the years?

MD: I would say the overall contribution. There are people there who do provide kind of a unique experience, they bring their own unique experience. There’s someone who made that piece of wood with the image of Krampus and the children captured and people can put their own faces in, for photographs… that background image that someone made, each year people are really upping the ante with the costumes, that become more elaborate, and of course if someone just wants to make a quick mask out of construction paper that certainly works too. There is charm in a very basic mask, and there’s also charm in a mask that is very elaborate as well. Certainly now there are fire dancers who are putting on a show… yeah, I would say just the fact that people are there, and they are contributing, in some way, and of course I bring the old antique items and some of the modern imports with me.

BL: From a historical perspective, I’ve noticed that historical recreation is a theme with you; how does that fit in with your experience of Krampuslauf?

MD: Certainly I do collect objects and different antiques from European countries. They have a longer history than we have here in America, so their antique stores are like our museums. And it’s just one aspect of capturing or creating a mini-museum of old Europe, here in America. It’s just great to be able to own these items, and of course, to bring them out. Certainly they do me little good if I’m just keeping them to myself. I do always enjoy taking them out and showing them to people and making displays. And certainly I decorate with them myself, I just take it to the next level to show them to other people as well. And that’s why I thought it would be an important addition to have those displays and that is why I had mentioned at the first event, when I had those few objects with me, I had mentioned that in the event that would be upcoming the following year, I could certainly create a display, I would have no problem with that at all, and I sent a sample photo of what I had to the group on the internet, and I remember asking Amber, “What do you think? Here are the items, here’s some items that I have, do you you have any room in the park at all?” And she said “For that, we’ll definitely make room.” So it was good. I showed up with it, and it worked out well, and the feedback that I’ve received from it from Amber was that a lot of people were glad to see it, and in some cases it had been a highlight for some people, to see kind of that mini Krampus museum there in the park.

BL: Along those lines, what is something you haven’t seen at Krampuslauf Philadelphia yet, that you would either like to see or that you would just feel pleasantly surprised to see if it showed up?

MD: I know that there was a question asked, I think last year, about Knecht Ruprecht. I was looking at photos of Krampus, I think I just typed “Krampus” into a search engine and I clicked the photo section, and noticed someone. There were a bunch of people dressed up as Krampus, different styles, and I saw this grumpy man, and I called my mother over and I said “Who do you think this guy looks like?” and she said, “Knecht Ruprecht.” And I know someone asked about that, or inquired about showing up in that costume last year. That would be incredible. Just seeing the two together. I was really blown away when I saw that photograph on the Internet. There are different forms, certainly. Krampus has a number of names: Hans Muff, Hans Tropp, Nickel, Belsnickle, Pelznickel, Pelzmärtel – there are a number of stories, and a lot of them are regional. Different mountain areas… it would be neat to see a lot of these different versions in one place.

BL: What is something that you would want someone who hasn’t been to Krampuslauf Philadelphia yet to think about, that they might think about on their own?

MD: I would tell them they better be good, because if Nikolaus does not stop by, certainly Krampus will. Stop by their homes, that is.

BL: Alright! Is there anything else that you wanted to cover that we haven’t talked about yet?

MD: I suppose the only comment is to say once again, it’s incredible that your group is putting on Krampuslauf. I had been waiting for this for years, ever since I had heard about Krampus, and I think it’s a great way to make the month of December a little different for people. It’s a way for them to learn about a different cultural practice; certainly this comes from old Europe, and when Saint Nikolaus or Bishop Nikolaus came over here, I’m sure Krampus was debated and people in this New World thought that Krampus may be a bit much, so Krampus finally made it, and it’s just another way to observe the various holidays in December. So once again I think it is excellent that your group decided to bring this here, in Philadelphia, and every year the events have turned out great, it’s worked out very well, and each year seems to build upon the previous year, not withstanding that fork in the road with the snowstorm – but then again, the snowstorm did provide that effect, and as Amber said “Okay, we had our snowstorm, we finally had it, so one time is enough.”

i got a selfie with michael in 2013 -- the blizzard year!

i got a selfie with michael in 2013 — the blizzard year!


BL: Well thank you for coming every year. You have been a huge contribution and thank you for talking with me tonight!

MD: I would not miss this event for the world, it’s been great, the time always flies, here we are in October, so the event will be, once again, it will happen in two months, and I’m looking forward to it. And thank you, for the opportunity as well. I always enjoy setting up.

BL: Looking forward to having you there!

FAUX FIRE HOOPS! a tutorial

•October 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment


2014’s “kids’ mini flow showcase” at krampuslauf was a blast. it may only have been three minutes long — and the kids may have announced at the midpoint of that three minutes that they had used up every trick they had practiced (with hoops, spinning plates, and other props) — but darned if they didn’t just do it all again when the audience yelled at them to keep going until the song was over.

for 2015, we thought that we would use some of our creative energies to puzzle out how to make some faux fire props for the kids to try. the ladies of lux arati generously offered to come to this year’s workshop — which will be held (also generously) at the historic laurel hill cemetery on saturday, november 14 — to teach the kids some simple choreography that they could practice before lauf. this is the best of everything — an exciting new place to have our workshop, MORE for the kids to do (while krampuslauf should always be fun, it’s also nice to add a little challenge to it for those up to such), and some new “how do we make this?” hurdles for us.

with a goal of three types of props for the mini-showcase, we can now present the easiest, least expensive, and least time-consuming of the props we have tried so far: the faux fire hoop!

make one at home or at the workshop; all you need is a child-sized hula hoop (28″ is the outside measurement on the ones we made, which gives room for eight nicely-spaced “wicks”; some aluminum foil and masking tape, some decorative “duck” tape from a craft store (this happens to be silver tape, but is not serious “duct tape”) and some LED “votives” (which usually come in boxes of a few dozen.)

the first thing you do is wrap your hoop in tape. doing it a bit on the diagonal (as ben shows here) makes it come out nice and smooth, not lumpy.


fauxfirehoops_2next, take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it in half (no specific measurements here, but enough to crunch up some. see the picture of ben holding the votive on the folded foil for scale).


begin to wrap and mold the foil around the sides and bottom of the votive, to make a firm little cup that fits it snugly. do not make it any taller than the votive itself; in fact, make it a smidge shorter, so that a teeny bit of the votive sticks out (it will be easier to get at for switching on and off.)




cover your votive holder inside and out with masking tape. this will reduce it’s inside measurement a bit, making it even more snug, and that’s good.




place your votive cup onto the hoop and use a piece of your decorative tape — with which you covered your hoop earlier — to affix the votive cup to the hoop. you’ll start inside the cup, go around the cup and hoop, and come up the other side — and then use a second piece to “fill in the space” horizontally between the cup and hoop. now they are all part of the same structure!




turn on your votives and fit them inside. we did a bit of field testing (literally, in a field, during the lunar eclipse and blood moon) and found that (naturally) KIDS LOVE FAUX FIRE HOOPS, but also that, yes, snug or not, the votives will fly out. while we have no standardized method yet, both loops of gorilla tape and velcro dots hold things in longer.



stay tuned for more information about our workshop this year! if your child would like to participate in the kids mini-flow “FIRE” showcase for krampuslauf philadelphia 2015, please e mail so we can give you more information!



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