In Austria’s countryside there is a tradition in winter called Perchten-run. Each region, sometimes each town has different masks and figures. Originally those events were between christmas and new years to banish winter demons. Nowadays they are happening for different things as well – these pictures were for example taken a couple days ago for something called “Krampus”.
St. Nikolaus is giving children who were nice during the past year on the 6th of December chocolate, oranges, nuts etc.
Children who weren’t that nice are visited by Krampus – and they get punished with a whip 😉
Usually people aren’t seriously hurt (maybe a couple of bruises by the whips ;)) …
Most of the towns have their own clubs that prepare during the year for those events. All of the outfits are handcrafted and especially a lot of work is put into the masks, that are handcarved from wood!