The Devils of Laces
The "Krampus" celebration in the Laces-Val Martello holiday region
In December, the period of Advent is a time to pause and reflect, when adults and children get ready for Christmas. However, the prelude to Christmas starts much earlier. On 5th December across the region, wild creatures from the “kingdom of the dead”, seemingly explode out of nowhere with their ghoulish masks. These are the “Krampus” or “Tuifl” (devils, in German).
These old traditions differ slightly from one locality to another. At Klosn in Stelvio/Stilfs, the mythical creatures pass through the mountain village, or in Laces/Latsch there are the Tuifl. These raucous public processions and rituals provide entertainment, especially for the children in the period approaching Christmas. The kids love the thrill of playing cat and mouse games with the "Tuifltratzen", the scary messengers from hell. They tease the Krampus devils and then run away and hide from them. The highpoint of these celebrations is the biennial international convention of Tuifl and Krampus, held in Laces.