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From city sidewalks to woodland paths, festivals, gatherings, and celebrations... far afield or closer to home, Natalie seeks out the magical--and it's everywhere. Come wander with me!

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Wanted: Yuletide Revelers and the Guts of Das Madchen

So last year I got to play the 14 foot “Das Madchen”–the harbinger of doom who appears in the darkest days of the year--at Parade of Spirits, Liberty Lands in Philadelphia. Formerly known as Krampuslauf, the parade has taken place every December since 2011. A teeny bit about Krampus: This furry, red-tongued, chain and/or switch-wielding character has been St. Nicholas’ companion in Alpine regions for millennia, and may even pre-date the jolly old elf. On December 5–Krampusnacht–Krampus brought Karma to the naughty before St. Nick made his appearance on his own day, the 6th.


And now for the good part: THIS year's parade will take place on Saturday, December 9, 2017 (in Liberty Lands Park in Philly) and a person is needed to be the guts of Das Madchen. I can promise you it's great fun--have a look at some scenes from 2016’s Parade of Spirits --I'm the face poking out of the white creature, 3rd from the bottom!(All photos by Neil Kohl)


The costume is quite the centerpiece of the parade--can you spot me in THIS VIDEO? It's not hard!

The top bit goes on like a backpack and the legs and feet are attached separately. I was particularly fond of my tie-on hooves, and am tempted to ask for a pair of my own, you know, just to have. You don't have to be a very tall person to be DM (I'm 5'3"), but you must be able to manage the weight and you'll get a trial walk or two before the actual day--check out one of my trial walks HERE. And you'll have handlers (It's not like one of those blow up T-rex costumes-this lady is weighty and you need to be able to balance in her, not to terribly hard once you get used to it). Interested? Contact Amber for all the deets--and maybe I'll see you there!!! Did I mention you get a medal?

PS--Just want to attend and need ideas for costumes or want to learn more about the Christmas Demon? Check out Al Ridenour’s The Krampus and the Dark Old Christmas.

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Natalie Zaman is the author of Color and Conjure and Magical Destinations of the Northeast. A regular contributor to various Llewellyn annual publications, she also writes the recurring feature “Wandering Witch” for Witches & Pagans Magazine. When not on the road, she’s busy tending her magical back-garden. Or shopping.


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