Winter Solstice Wild Hunt

Langbarðr Óðinn jólfaðr,
Long-bearded Odin Yule-father,
Leading the winter solstice Wild Hunt,
One-eyed Wodan’s Wild Gift Giving Ride,
Riding Sleipnir alongside stallions, goat-carts,
And sleighs pulled by reindeer,
With Grecian Niklaus wonder-worker,
Children’s saint, Christmas-father,
Shoulder to shoulder with Dutch-brother
Sinterklaas, his twin Kris Kringle Christkind,
And Amerikanisch Santa Claus.

Celebrating a savior’s birth,
The Horned God’s rebirth,
Or just happy the Sun wasn’t swallowed by a wolf,
Ghostly riders in the sky
Travel across the inside of Ymir’s skull.

Near the end of the parade,
Beyond the gift-givers and ghosts,
Behind the gray rider with the elvish staff,
Comes the justice-bringers,
Led by Krampus Hel-son,
Goat-horned grandson of Loki,
Faithful Æsir-servant, law-protector,

Bells on his cloak ring a warning
As he beats misbehaving children
With birch branches; bundling
The truly wicked into wicker baskets,
Or into friend Zwarte Piet’s sack,
To be taken to his mother’s realm,
Be drowned or be dinner for the hoard.

Frau Perchta, snow white maiden or
Hideous shriveled crone,
Krampus’ alpine queen,
Handing out shiny silver coins
To all who’ve been good;
Disemboweling and stuffing guts with straw
To all who have not.

He knows when you’re sleeping,
He sees all you do when you’re awake,
He’ll know if you’ve been bad or not,
So be good, if just for your own sake.




Pronunciation Key:

ð = “th” as in this
Langbarðr = lang-bar-ther
Óðinn = O-thin
jólfaðr = Yole-father
Sleipnir = Slayp-near
Ymir = Ee-mere
Zwarte Piet = Zvart Pete
Perchta = perkh-tah

Image: Old card reading “Gruss vom Krampus” (“Greetings from Krampus”). ca 1900s. Found on WikiMedia Commons.