Krampus, a sort of anti-Claus, horned beast who stuffs bad children in his sack, brandishes birch branches, rattles chains and spirits away naughty kids to eat them, drown them or take them on a holiday tour of hell. Krampus has been a part of Central European, alpine folklore going back at least a millennium, and since the 17th-century Krampus traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas and angels in early December to visit households to reward children that have been good while reprimanding those who have not.
The 1747 Manor House at Ladew Gardens, located in Monkton, Md., was recently transformed with a holiday theme of “Christmas Through the Ages.” Garden clubs and volunteers worked to decorate each room to give the lower level of the historic building a festive feel.
Holiday light displays are going up in neighborhoods all around the Baltimore County area. Some are simpler, some are more elaborate and some — like Phil Hoesch’s display at his parents’ Cockeysville home — are coordinated to music played over a low-frequency radio signal. Watch the video below to see Hoesch’s display in action.
The annual “Miracle on 34th Street” display draws thousands of visitors to Hampden to see the spectacular holiday lights of the 700 block of W. 34th Street. Look through images taken by Baltimore Sun photographer Kenneth K. Lam, who this year documented residents setting up their decorations ahead of the grand lighting on Nov. 30.
Christmas may be over, but we can still appreciate Klingons and Charles Dickens. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at “A Klingon Christmas Carol” based on the Dickens’ classic and adapted for Klingons and Star Trek fans. Photos by Jim Young of Reuters.
Miles away from their families and their homes, troops in Afghanistan held Christmas celebrations at military bases and outposts. Soldiers from the U.S., France, and other countries involved in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) shared each other’s company for a traditional Christmas meal at the Kabul International Airport on Christmas Day. German Bundeswehr soldiers, meanwhile, set up traditional Christmas markets at their military outposts in Afghanistan.
Baltimore has a monument lighting, New York has the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and Washington has a national menorah lighting. Around the world, though, holiday traditions range from religious ceremonies (like nine consecutive masses in Manila) to contemporary takes on pagan traditions.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Tell us in the comments.
Baltimore residents put on stellar displays for the holiday season, from Hampden’s luminous 34th Street decorations to complex Christmas gardens. But how does a “Bawlmer Christmas” stack up against its global equivalents? We’ve rounded up some of the world’s better light displays to find out.
Dec. 19 Photo Brief: The safest place on Earth when the world ends, TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, 72 hours in Beijing, mass casualty incident drills in the Philippines
The safest place on Earth when the world ends, Barack Obama named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, 72 hours in Beijing without a visa, mass casualty incident drills in the Philippines and more in today’s daily brief.