Krampustag!

It was Krampustag on the Square Wednesday evening.

The giant-horned, metal-booted, long-tongued, hairy, scary sidekick to St. Nick dangled his hunting bounty – more than a dozen tiny arms and legs – from his belt. But he spared passing pedestrians his wrath and beatings. Instead, from about 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday, Krampus and his band of merry men and women passed out presents to random motorists, shoppers and others passing by.

Krampus studies passersby on the Square Wednesday evening to see whether they have been naughty this year

Krampus is a lesser-known figure from the same 17th Century Germanic folklore that gave us St. Nicholas. While St. Nick passed out gifts to good children, Krampus visited the homes of naughty children and beat them, stuffing some in a sack to be eaten later.

In Austria and other parts of Europe, Krampus Day is celebrated on Dec. 5, the day before St. Nicholas Day.

Former Denton resident Alicia Holston said a group coalesced around a Facebook announcement of the event. They bought and gathered presents for most of the year, passing out 764 in all on Wednesday night.