A teenager from an Albanian background was arrested after attacking another teen dressed as Saint Nicholas’s demonic counterpart “Krampus” during a festive parade in Switzerland.
The attack took place at a Saint Nicholas parade in the Swiss municipality of Rickenbach in the district of Winterthur on Saturday and saw the Albanian-background teen attack a 17-year-old Swiss who was dressed as “Schmutzli”, the Swiss name for the demon Krampus, Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung reports.
The Swiss teen was slashed in the back with a folding knife and was taken to a local hospital where he required several stitches. The victim told local media: “I do not want to make a big story out of it and love to forget it as fast as possible.”
He went on to add that he did not provoke the Albanian-background youth and said the ordeal left him frightened because the attack had come out of nowhere. Police arrested the attacker but released him the next day.
The tradition of Krampus is centuries old in Switzerland, Austria, southern Germany, and other parts of Central Europe. It involves locals dressing up as the half-goat demon who punishes children who have misbehaved at Christmas time.
Last year, another violent incident occurred at a Krampus event in Klagenfurt, Austria, when an observer grabbed the horns of a Krampus who he claimed was too close to a child. The man dressed up as Krampus then took off his mask and punched the man in the face.
Authorities across Europe continue to remain on high alert at various Christmas events due to the threat of terrorism from radical Islamic extremists.
Earlier this month, Dutch authorities arrested three men in the town of Zoetermeer who they allege were plotting a terrorist attack during the period around Christmas and New Year’s Eve and were searching for information on making car bombs and explosive vests.