10 fricking awesome photos from a gigantic Krampus parade. Happy holidays!

If the holidays were a drink, they'd be a venti vanilla peppermint mocha frappacino. With extra whipped cream.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas carols, cookies, and terrible sweaters as much as the next guy, but after a couple of weeks, it can be a little much.

I can feel my blood sugar rising just looking at this picture. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images


But you know what cuts through all that sugar like a big splash of strong black coffee? A pretty little thing called Krampus.

"OK, say cheese and whatever you do, don't turn around." Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

If you're not familiar with this increasingly popular Christmas icon, Krampus hails from Alpine countries, such as Austria and Slovakia. A holdover from pre-Christian traditions, Krampus is basically St. Nicholas' half-devil, half-goat frenemy(?) who goes around scooping up naughty children into a sack and hitting them with sticks.

Originally more obscure, and even banned during the '30's, Krampus has enjoyed a resurgence lately that's even extended beyond Austria. I mean, you know you're doing well when you get to square off against Adam Scott in an extremely campy horror-comedy flick.

On Dec. 6, Getty photographer Sean Gallup was in Pongau, Austria, where hundreds of actors marched in the annual Krampus Parade. Check out some of the pictures below:

Here come the Krampuses! Pretty awesome, no?

Krampusi? Krampusfolk? What is the plural here? Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Some of these wooden masks are incredibly detailed and beautiful, in a Guillermo Del Toro kind of way.

Anyone else excited as hell for "The Shape of Water," by the way? Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

The kids seem to love it. Because of course they do. Have you met kids?

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

This little girl seems positively delighted.

You just kind of want to hug it. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Some children even find costumes of their own and take part.

Austria has the best Halloween costumes, and it's not even October. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

For a half-devil-goat-thing, this Krampus sure looks bashful once their classmates came over to say hi.

Aww. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

It must get pretty stuffy under those costumes though. These actors get a last gasp of air before the parade.

Plus, you know, they're basically wearing a giant fur coat. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, St. Nicholas and an angel are there to reward the children Krampus doesn't steal away.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Soon enough it'll be time to go back to sweetness and light. But, for now, at least, Krampus is the star of the show.

By the way, if you haven't watched the other weird Christmas horror movie "Rare Exports," it's pretty great. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Listen, the holidays can be pretty overwhelming. It can feel like if you're not happy and chipper and holding twin babies all the time, you're kind of letting the spirit of season down (even though, psychologically, it's important to be able to accept your darker emotions sometimes).

But maybe that's why people are starting to really love Krampus. He's not just an interesting cultural touchstone, he's a chance to let loose, flirt with fear and darkness a little, and ... relax. As weird as I know that sounds.

Plus he's metal as fuck.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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