TRIBP/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Krampuslauf is celebrated all across the world with festivals and parades where participants dress as the beast to celebrate.
By VERONICA REARDON Your Weekend Columnist
As the end of the semester approaches and you start to feel finals breathing down your neck, it can be hard to find time to get off campus. After the taste of freedom that was Thanksgiving break, that’s all you want to do.
However, this coming weekend there are still a lot of events in Baltimore worth going to if you want to take a study break! Some are holiday-themed, others are related to current events and several in particular are all kind of random and unrelated to each other. There’s a little something for everyone in here, I believe.
The first of these is Krampuslauf, which takes place Dec. 5. This year will be the second time Krampuslauf has happened in Baltimore. It starts at 4 p.m. in front of De Kleine Duivel, a bar right off W. 36th Street in Hampden. If you’ve never heard of Krampus but you’ve always wished that Santa were a little scarier, this is the holiday event for you.
Krampus is, in a way, the dark counterpart of St. Nick. He’s responsible for punishing the children who were badly behaved. If you thought coal in your stocking was bad, you’ve got another thing coming. He supposedly carries birch switches to hit bad children with as well as a bag or washtub to kidnap or drown the kids. All of this has a very interesting basis in history, some of it pagan, some Christian and some (such as Krampus’s habit of kidnapping children) related to things like the raids of the Moors on Northern Europe way back when. Krampuslauf here in Baltimore isn’t nearly so dark, of course. It’s just a lot of people putting on masks and horns and parading around the city having a good time.
The next event that might be interesting is Dollar or Less Days. If you’re like me and your parents don’t bankroll most of your activities, the name of the event is more than enough to pique your interest. It starts on Dec. 5 at noon and goes until 5 p.m. on Dec. 6.
As a result, there are a variety of Baltimore businesses and museums in places such as the Inner Harbor, Mount Vernon and Lexington Market that have either free or $1 admission, which is very exciting. Normally some of these places are ypretty expensive. Some of the things you can do are climb the monument in Mount Vernon for $1, go to National Aquarium for $1 or visit the Jewish Museum of Maryland for $1, among many other places.
The last event I want to mention is one that is extremely politically relevant that also looks really fascinating and lovely. It’s not strictly on the weekend — in fact, it starts Dec. 7 and goes through Dec. 10. However, it’s during reading period (so no classes or finals) and it looks like a very cool event. It’s called Art in Exile, and, like Krampuslauf, it is the second time it has been held and may shape up to be an annual occurrence.
Art in Exile takes place in Washington, D.C., not Baltimore, but as many of you know, D.C. is just a MARC train ride away. With the current dilemma of Syrian refugees, this event and others like it are important to be aware of and to attend if possible.
The festival will focus on the stories of a generation of refugees fleeing conflict and violence in the Middle East through all kinds of mediums: film, music and various genres of art. Proceeds from purchases of artwork will go directly to the artists. Many of the films being screened will have discussions afterward. Refreshments are included with admission to some of the events of the festival, if that’s something that interests you.
There are of course many other events in the Baltimore and D.C. areas besides these, such as a reading at the Crown on Thursday as well as a multitude of other various concerts that are all worth checking out! Make sure you check the side panel for additional programming and details about different weekend options. Hope you guys make it to some of them, and good luck in class this week!