Imagine yourself in a tiny and ancient village hidden among the mountains in South Tyrol: Campo Tures, in Aurina valley.
Somewhere in Aurina Valley...
It’s afternoon, the cold and clear blue sky is getting darker.
The characteristic streets, illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights, and shops of the village are crowded with tourists and local inhabitants.
Perfumes and music waft in the air and induce a walk browsing here and there, without a precise destination.
Local souvenirs shop
 The large city park, decorated for the occasion, hosts outdoor stalls and pubs, places to walk with friends and meet happy people, coming from somewhere.
Walking in the crowd we get carried by a myriad of tempting smells:

local sausages served in a big and warm sandwich with fries, apple strudel and traditional sweets, mulled wine, cold beer, chocolate ... Incense! 
How, incense?

Perhaps it comes from the village church, perhaps the priest is celebrating Mass ...
And it goes on, walking through the cold snow, fell in abundance in recent days, and the warmth of the Christmas ambience that brings together all the inhabitants of the country, attracting hundreds of people from the surrounding valleys.

Also from the close Austria. We are just a few kilometers from the border.

 Suddenly everyone converge towards the main street.
It’s dark. You see, far away, the torches. The air smells of sulfur.

Here come the Krampus, the ancestral fauns of woods whom, with the arrival of Christianity, have been transformed into devils of hell.

Thus begins their invasion through the streets of the little town, including sounds of bells and bestial shouts. 

People is trapped among hundreds of monstrous horned creatures whom dance, run, scream and take possession of the village, but only for one night.
Here come Krampus...

 In the past, the Krampus ('krampen' means "claw" in Old German) were young farmers of the valleys which, starved by famine, wore skins and horns of animals and, thus disguised, used crossing the villages terrorizing local residents and looting stocks for the winter.

It’s said that in a large group of young men was hidden the Devil himself.

His appearance was initially mistaken by peasants to one of the many terrifying masks.

Young people were aware of its presence by observing its legs:

those were not human, but goat legs and hooves.
Discovered Lucypher, Bishop Nicholas was called to turn away the evil presence, which, after several hours of fighting, was thrown out of the country.
Bishop Nicholas and Lucypher
These monstrous characters hit people who happen to their shot, pushing and whiplashing them, chasing groups of people met along the way.

...And, of course, Krampus use to play with fire.
All this happens on a cold winter evening in early December, right when people from everywhere visit charateristic Christmas markets in South Tyrol, for a nice shopping.
Krampus like photograpers...
In Austria, Krampus join the woodland creatures called "Perchten", which are originally related to the Germanic pagan goddess Perchta, called "The Shining", mistress of beasts, as the guardian of the animal world and nature in ancient times.

At return of summer, the landscape changes completely.
The mountains, the first completely covered with snow, are now a deep green colored and the multitude of paths and hiking trails invite visitors to encounter nature in the ancient forests of the goddess Perchta.

Aurino torrent
(Fritters with cranberry)
 For the dough:  
200 grams of flour, a glass of milk, 4 eggs, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of oil, 50 grams of sugar.
For the crumpets: 
4 large apples cut into slices about half a centimeter thick,
cinnamon, sugar, oil for frying.

Cover the apples with cinnamon and sugar and let them stand for almost 10 minutes.
Prepare the dough by mixing flour, milk, 4 egg yolks, a tablespoon of oil,
so you get a thickish batter.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, add sugar, mixture and incorporate to the batter.
Dip apples into the batter and fry them in hot and abundant oil until golden brown.
Cover the fritters with sugar and cinnamon and serve them hot with cranberry sauce.

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