St. Mikulás also has a sinister elf friend, Krampusz. In Hungary's neighboring countries, like Croatia, Krampusz is portrayed as a devil figure...in Hungary, Krampusz is portrayed as mischievous rather than evil devil, wearing a black suit, a long red tongue, with a tail and little red horns. The Krampusz wields a Virgács, bunch of golden coloured twigs bound together. Hungarian parents often frighten children with getting a Virgács instead of presents, if they do not behave. By the end of November, you can buy all kinds of Virgács on the streets, usually painted gold, bound by a red ribbon. Getting a Virgács is rather more fun than frightening, and is usually given to all children, along with presents to make them behave.
Anyways, prior to really knowing this story, I received virgács and a chocolate Santa from my boss. I thought, "Oh, what pretty golden twigs...why did Eszter give this to me?" I took a closer look at this chocolate santa and saw that it looked more like a devil, and was then informed of sir Krampusz and the switch he gives to bad little girls....or more so now, as jokes....especially to people who don't believe/don't know the cultural tradition.......
Me after I found out the meaning of Virgács
I wish I knew this before I filled Keith's shoes with chocolates and a bottle of his favorite Hungarian beer....well, I guess I can always regift my twigs next year. :-) Or perhaps, I really did deserve the virgács...and Keith was a good boy.......doubt it ;-)
Keith's St. Mikulás Treats
Then later today, St. Mikulás came to my kindergarten!!! Only 3 of the 8 kids who where there today cried...poor Marcelo and Emi, who were so hysterical they were shaking....Keith did a great performance, even if the costume was mediocre...I think at least one of my students was on to him and his disguise....but Zéti was convinced and I think Mariana enjoyed it too (even if she too was a bit suspicious)
Here are video clips from today's events!