This year I learned something new, the legend of ‘Krampus’. According to the legend (and Wikipedia), Krampus is a half goat- half demon who during the Christmas season punishes children who have been bad. Over time the legend coupled Krampus with Saint Nicholas to encourage children to be good.
For a full description please see the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus
Krampus celebrations are a big deal in Germany, Austria and other countries in the region. This was the first I had seen any celebrations in the states, and while small, was entertaining.
The group gathered in the a parking lot in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus.
Noise makers and elaborate costumes were the order of the day.
Apparently the Grinch and Mrs Grinch fit the bill as well. The costumes were great.
Three horned ladies.
The legend says they use sticks to ‘whip the children into behaving’. Clearly not a 21st century approach.
The parade went down the sidewalk for about 3 blocks.
I behaved myself.
Another Krampus monster.
Mrs Claus has a new look, along with apparently a Clint Eastwood fan. Hopefully this celebration catches on and grows larger each year – it is a nice change from the repetitiveness of the usual Christmas celebrations and festivals.
December has brought the Chinese Lantern Festival back to town. Celebrating the art and craft of Sichuan, China, the lanterns are a beautiful combination of fabrics and light.
As you enter the grounds you are immediately greeted by a canopy of lanterns.
The displays are very large – the one below is approximately 50′ across by 15′ high.
Many dealt with wildlife, most coming from the Chinese Calendar.
More nature is celebrated with giant flowers.
The Lovers arches.
This year the entertainment was moved inside, avoiding the extreme cold that often occurs in December in Ohio. These young ladies had amazing agility and strength.
The face-changing actor was the only return act from last year – still amazing.
The plate spinners. While we don’t often repeat activities the Chinese Lantern Festival will be an annual event.
With a day to spend in Manhattan with nothing special planned we wandered the city and checked out some of the non tacky tourist spots (i.e. Time Square)
Bryant Park Ice Rink and the Main Library
Entrance to Rockefeller Center
Statue and Flags at Rockefeller Center
Central Park West View
A stop at the Met.
Ornate apartment building on Fifth Avenue.
Where do they put the prisoners?
Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan (near the World Trade Center) is the home of ‘Canstruction’, an art display made out of canned foods. The goal is to collect canned foods for the City Harvest, a New York City food bank.
Having the opportunity to spend a week in Bangalore and Hyderabad India I took the opportunity to get some photos of the everyday life on the streets of the cities.
It should be noted that while it is very different from North America and Europe in terms of driving/walking ‘protocol’, it seems to work for India. I saw amazingly few dented cars despite the constant tight traffic.
Why take the walkway when you can dodge traffic.
Home Depot was apparently out of trucks.
The random high rise cow.
In 120km of riding around the city I saw 1 traffic light, which can explain some conflicts at the intersections.
Hang on buddy.
The no horn sign is easily the most ignored sign in all of India.
What is the record for people on a scooter, why 4. Although the 3 on the other scooter is a close second. It should be noted that they have a helmet law for drivers – but not apparently for children or adult passengers.
Drive thru fruit stands.
I was amazed at the side saddle riding balance.
The Charminar is a monument and mosque in the Old City section of Hyderabad. Given that we passed on a Friday (Muslim Holy Day) the area was packed with the market in the surrounding area. Unfortunately we were unable to tour the interior because of it being Friday.
There were numerous fruit stands.
Rug delivery by bicycle.
One of the many buildings with numerous small shops, most had displays out in the street. The old city had far more took tooks than it the newer areas near Hi-Tech City.
A close up of the Charminar – note the bamboo scaffolding.
An overview of the area.
The shopping apparently complete it was time to march home.
Past the chick pea (??) vendor
And out of town.
Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad, India is built into a nearly 500′ high granite hill, about 7 miles west of the old town city center. The original fort was built in 1143, but was rebuilt numerous times with this iteration dating from the 1500s.
The lower levels had the living quarters.
From below it is clear to see the integration of construction into the existing rocks.
The view from the top is fantastic.
Nearby Qutb Shahi Tombs are clearly visible.
More of the geology on top of the hill.
An overview of the lower fort.
Including a courtyard.
View from the courtyard back up the hill.