When the Christmas season dawns on us, it is indeed the most magical time of the year. From the sweaters to the cookies and carols, the festivity of Christmas always blows through the roof. However, at one point it all gets a little too much, and one cannot stand the sickly sweet aura of the entire tradition. This is where Krampus comes in; cutting through the sugar like a much-needed splash of black coffee.

“Say cheese and whatever you do, don’t turn around.”

Say cheese and whatever you do, don't turn around
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

For those of you who are not aware of who this famous Christmas icon is, Krampus originates from Alpine countries, such as Austria and Slovakia. Prevalent in pre-Christian traditions, Krampus is St. Nicholas’ half-goat, half-devil frenemy who is renowned for picking up naughty children and stowing them into his sack and hitting them with sticks.

During the 30’s, Krampus was banned. However, lately, he has enjoyed a massive resurgence which has spread far and wide even beyond Austria. Getty photographer Sean Gallup was in Pongau, Austria, on the 6th of December alongside hundreds of actors who marched in the annual Krampus Parade. Some of the exciting photographs captured are shared below:

The Krampuses (or Krampusi?) Are Here, And They Are Pretty Awesome

The Krampuses
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

These Masks Are Incredibly Detailed As Well As Horrifying

These Masks Are Incredibly Detailed As Well As Horrifying
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Surprisingly Enough, The Kids Love Every Moment Of It

The Kids Love Every Moment Of It
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Nothing Appears To Delight This Little Girl More

Nothing Appears To Delight This Little Girl More
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Some Children Are Even Excited About Donning Their Own Krampus Costumes

Some Children Are Even Excited About Donning Their Own Krampus Costumes
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Who Could Think Half-Goat-Devil-Creature Could Be So Bashful In The Company Of Others?

Who Could Think Half-Goat-Devil-Creature
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Seeing How The Costumes Can Get Pretty Stuffy, These Actors Can Be Seen Taking In A Few Breaths Of Fresh Air Before The Parade Begins

Seeing How The Costumes Can Get Pretty Stuffy
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

An Angel and St. Nicholas Are Also There To Reward The Good Children That Krampus Does Not Steal

An Angel and St. Nicholas
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

This Is One Show Where Krampus Steals The Limelight

This Is One Show Where Krampus Steals The Limelight
Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

While everyone emphasizes the absolute importance of letting the holiday cheer seep into your soul and bones, sometimes it is important to get in touch with your darker side. This is precisely why Krampus exists and frankly speaking; we are living for the Krampus Parade.

Aside from being an interesting cultural benchmark, Krampus helps us in letting ourselves loose and basking in a little darkness. For real though, does it get any more metal than this?