Lipizzan Horses

Austria

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The world-famous Spanish Riding School uses highly trained Lippizan stallions in public performances that demonstrate classical dressage movements and training. During summer there is another chance to take a glimpse of the these precious horses.

Every July mare Lippizan horses along with their offspring are brought from Piper to Vienna to familiarize the foals with their later domain in Vienna’s Spanish Riding School.

For one hour every day the horses are allowed to graze in Vienna’s Castle Garden next to the former imperial palace making it a beloved attraction for both, tourists and inhabitants likewise.

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Krampus

Austria

Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure – half-goat, half-demon – who literally beats people into being nice and not naughty.

Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children and take them away to his lair.

According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night before December 6, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. December 6 also happens to be Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day.

A more modern take on the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic involves drunken men dressed as devils, who take over the streets for a Krampuslauf—a Krampus Run of sorts, when people are chased through the streets by the “devils.”

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All photos: Michael Biach

Text source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/