the inaugural KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA was held on december 10, 2011 at liberty lands park in philadelphia. it was heralded as a wake-up call to krampus culture in a story on national public radio, which was shared over ten thousand times that day. every year we see a mix of fun-seekers, hardcore folklorists, history buffs and lots of kids!

photo by james g. mundie

KRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA is a safe, secular, collaborative and noncompetitive event. and for an event with monsters and noisemakers, it’s kind of a quiet thing…  and it’s a neighborhoody thing, even though we welcome people from wherever they wish to come. it’s a kid-friendly event, and yet certainly has elements that you won’t find at any gymboree… it’s cold, it gets dark, there are monsters! (although the monsters might be handing out cookies or treats.)


rather than an “entertainment” event, krampuslauf is an example of the power of community ritual — a tableau or meditation — a voluntary village coming together briefly to acknowledge the significance, the necessity, of “darkness” in a season that promotes (however forced) cheer and light. it is a work of art and what you bring to it is what makes it what it is. and we don’t know what that will be!

our krampuslauf has two rules. click here to see what they are.

dress in full costume, or just a pair of horns. (we have a special box of stuff to borrow if you want to get in the spirit at the last minute.) meet up to make a mask, puppet or noisemaker in maker workshops before the lauf… or work on your winter alter-ego at home in private. we welcome your interpretations of krampus, and of what this event can look like and sound like.


or, join our participants group (THIS option provides the most timely, most loquacious updates, AND the invites to maker events throughout the season!)





Krampus invite.doc


we begin the year with a gallery show of krampuslauf artifacts at germantown’s iMPeRFeCT gallery, and with a LONG interview on g-town radio with the amazing ed feldman!

and check out this wonderful video of the iMPeRFeCT gallery exhibition: the artwork has left the building by gary reed





photo courtesy of jill saull

photo courtesy of jill saull


here’s PHL17’s coverage of the very snowy Krampuslauf Philadelphia 2013 — a beautiful photo essay!

and the 2013 clip video by believe it tour!

and krampuslauf philadelphia’s official clip video featuring footage from both the 2013 lauf and the early 2014 gallery exhibition at iMPeRFeCT gallery!






2011 – 2012

here’s what we looked like in 2012 (our “official” video)…

and here’s another great 2012 clip by believe it tour!

READING for 2011-12

here’s an NPR piece about krampuslauf philadelphia and other pioneering american krampus events.

if you want to know why we think that krampus, and other “scary” folklore is positive for children, read amber’s article in inCulture Parent magazine.

want to know how the first krampuslauf philadelphia came together, and how it’s organizers see its continued place in the community? read this in-depth interview with amber and janet, conducted by jhon sanders of many mouths one stomach in tuscon AZ.

here’s a PDF of a piece about the history of the philly lauf as published in HEX magazine.

can you read in german? here is amber’s conversation (in german) with austrian photojournalist wolfgang böhm, from 2012.


and you can buy our 2011 yearbook here, and our 2012 yearbook here.


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