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WTF! - James Cove, Ischgl
Tuesday December 5, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The slogan of the Austrian resort of Ischgl is 'Relax, If you can'. Not a chance with these characters around!




It is not quite what one expects to find in the reception area of the Jägerhof 4* hotel as one heads down to dinner.

But this is Ischgl in the Tirol in Austria.

Expect the unexpected.

Welcome to the Jaegerhof Hotel, IschglWelcome to the Jaegerhof Hotel, Ischgl













"What is going on?" I enquired.

"Come into town after dinner and see - if you dare," said the furry fellow prostrate on the floor.  "I will have some friends with me."

So, I did.

And he had some friends with him - quite a few.

Some preferred to drive.

Wheels rollin'Wheels rollin'
















What it was all about I had absolutely no idea.

I decided to keep my distance but couldn't resist getting just a little bit closer.

Lets just say I should have learnt my lesson from the fate of the fellow at the beginning of my video clip who was wrestled to the ground.

There was a pile of snow in the village square and the idea seemed to be to own it.

Until one of our furry friends turned up to stake his claim.

It was a bit like being in a horror film or the Michael Jackson video 'Thriller' (if you are old enough to remember!)

Relax if you canRelax, If you can
















Relax if you canRelax, If you can


















But this one had a happy ending.

Once the spectacle had ended it was of course time for the obligatory selfies.

Another night out in IschglAnother night out in Ischgl
















So what was it all about?

I remain as much in the dark as I was as I headed down to dinner.

I have no idea whatsoever.

Only in Ischgl - Relax. If you can!


OK - I have done a bit of investigation.

It isn't unique to Ischgl at all.

It's Krampusnacht - a tradition that occurs across Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, South Tyrol, northern Italy and elsewhere in mainland Europe on the night of 5th December.

Krampus is a horned half-goat and half-demon figure who punishes children who have been naughty - as opposed to Saint Nicholas who rewards the good children with gifts.

Hence the two characters standing up in the first photo.

The Krampus outfits and masks are created and worn by the youth of the villages and towns.

He carries chains and birch sticks to whip naughty children into shape.

He also carries a sack or a big bag to carry naughty children away.

He is said to be the son of the Norse goddess Hel, who rules the land of the dead.

Today (Wednesday 6th December) is St Nicholas's and if the children are good, St Nick leaves them a present or a reward inside a shoe for good behaviour.

But what I can't quite understand is why so many of the furry fellows sought me out last night.

I am a good boy after all.

Well most of the time ;-)

Inghams offers a seven-night holiday on a half board basis at the four-star Hotel Jägerhof in Ischgl, Austria, from £1,049 per person departing on 13th January 2018.

Price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Innsbruck and airport transfers.

To book, visit or call 01483 791114.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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