the first family of krampuslauf philadelphia,
by artist len peralta

what is krampuslauf philadelphia?

krampuslauf philadelphia is a celebration of winter’s “scary” spirits. the lauf itself begins in liberty lands, a community-owned two-acre park in northern liberties, where families gather to greet, admire, and prepare. a procession then takes place over a short route in northern liberties’ shopping and dining district. laufers then return to the park for treats, photos with various krampusse, and socializing.

if you want to know who krampus himself is, check out his wikipedia entry.

how can i participate?

krampuslauf philadelphia is a public event and all are welcome to join in, provided they abide a few simple rules. you can spend all year preparing, or you can come at the last minute with no costume. (we have extra costume elements, percussion instruments, and puppets to share for anyone who wishes to use them.)

regardless of how much preparation you make for the lauf, or how far you drove, this event takes place outdoors in december (it’s cold), and involves many children (cold children are miserable).

there’s no being fashionably late to krampuslauf — it gathers and begins on time and it disperses as soon as people want to go get warmer.

is the only way to participate to be dressed up like a krampus?

definitely not! even in a strictly traditional krampuslauf, once can often see a st. nikolas and an angel or two along for the ride. or how about one of krampus’ cousins from around the world — like the perchten, belsnickel, or buttnmandl? how about a yule goat, or the jólasveinarnir, or christmas cookie sprinkle snitcher? our focus is the dark, fearful element of winter — because, as brother arun says, “When we invite the shadow side of life to our parties, it is less likely to sneak up behind us.” we do like the idea of keeping fading traditions around the world, alive.

how can i participate beyond just showing up that day and laufing?

we hold mask, lantern and puppet making workshops and other crafting events throughout the fall and early winter season. they are announced on this blog and on our facebook pages. attend them and meet your krampus brethren!

of course, individual costumes are in no way dependent on the maker events. plenty of people make their costumes, masks, or percussion on their own, and bring them on their own.

if you want to help with preparation for krampuslauf beyond just attending, or manifesting workshops, here are some ideas:

DONATIONS. our wish list includes:

neutral colors of fun fur (brown, black, grey, white)
leather scrap
yarn and fabric in neutrals, metallics, or red and green
noisemakers or drums
horns, claws, or other prostheses to be incorporated into costumes or puppets
sheep or goat skins!

we will take these items any time, any day of the year!


SKILLS! we like those too!


sewing enthusiasts

puppet enthusiasts

banner-makers and signmakers

people interested in fabricating illumination — LED lanterns or components

people interested in creating/leading “krampus backbeat” — simple, embellishable rhythm to keep the procession cohesive.

why don’t you add a krampus-themed bar crawl/pet costume contest/reality show/fill in other event here to krampuslauf philadelphia?

we are happy to hear aboutany other krampus-related events, in philly or otherwise. but o our greatest ambitions for the “growth” of krampuslauf philadelphia are not to see more people attending, or more people watching… but to see the skill, experience and enjoyment levels of its participants rise.



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