Featured image credit: Michael Gary Photography
Portland prides itself in being weird, and the holidays are no exception. So, what better place than Rip City to get your holiday photos taken with someone other than Santa? How about Krampus?
For those who don’t know what a Krampus is, it’s actually a creature from central European folklore. He’s half goat and half demon with large horns growing from his head. According to legend, he’s the son of Hel, the Norse god of the underworld.
As the story goes, Krampus appears on December 5 and follows St. Nicholas while the saint visits homes to put candy in good children’s shoes and birch twigs in bad children’s shoes. When children misbehave during the holiday season, Krampus punishes them. He might beat them with a birch stick, or he might stuff them in his sack and carry them to his lair, where they’re tortured and eaten.
Over the years, Krampus’ fame has spread from Europe to the U.S. He has become so popular that he has his own comic series, a movie, and a Facebook page called Krampus America. And there’s Krampusnacht, an annual festival in Orlando, Florida, on December 5.
And now, back to Oregon, where in 2014, photographer Michael Gary began scheduling Krampus holiday shoots in Portland. So many people from around here loved it so much that it quickly became a holiday tradition.
Here are the dates, times, and locations for the 2018 Five Nights of Krampus:
- Friday, December 7, 5-10 p.m.—Field Office East, 1895 NW Front Avenue
- Sunday, December 9, 3-8 p.m.—Field Office East, 1895 NW Front Avenue
- Sunday, December 16, 3-8 p.m. at Delta Cafe, 4607 SE Woodstock Blvd.
- Friday, December 21, 4-9 p.m. at Oblique Coffee Roasters, 3039 SE Stark Street
- Saturday, December 22, noon-5 p.m. at Oblique Coffee Roasters, 3039 SE Stark Street
The cost is $10. Kids and pets are welcome, too. The Portland Krampus promises not to eat them.
Speaking of pets, Michael Gary and Key Bank of Oregon are also hosting Pet Photos with Santa, a holiday fundraiser in his studio at 5540 SE Liebe Street, on Tuesday, December 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Michael Gary is donating $3 from each sale to the Oregon Humane Society. Photos cost $10 for print only, $15 for digital only, and $20 for print and digital.