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.
Easton is a very large ‘lifestyle center’ in Northeast Columbus. A lifestyle center is a shopping area built to resemble an actual town, with streets going through the shops, apartments and other less traditional mall features.
On Saturday they had a chalk art contest. We arrived early on Sunday morning before the stores (and therefore the people) arrived, giving plenty of opportunity for unobstructed views of the final work. The early morning shadows, however, proved to be tricky.
The art itself was excellent, with a variety of subjects and approaches to style.
The Columbus Zoo was sponsoring a car show, which seems a bit strange, but then again they do commercialize a lot of things.
The cars were quite nice, and with the water park and other amusement rides providing interesting backgrounds, it was a good day for a car show. Plus there were animals later.
Part 2 of our day at the Zoo was to see the actual animals.
South African Penguin
A Young Cheetah
A cheetah in full stride
With the buildup to the Solar Eclipse I had read, among other things, about filters for the cameras. After trying to take some photos of the actual eclipse I realized that the filters are most important for blocking out all of the other light to focus on the sun itself, otherwise it just looks like a sunny day. My poor man’s option was to stick my eclipse glasses over the lens of my point and click, which I did as it neared the end.
The acquisition of the Solar Eclipse glasses was an adventure of it’s own. The local Science Museum donated thousands of pairs to the local library, but they waited until 1 PM to give them away, resulting in long lines – fortunately we were about 100 back from the front and got them in no time.
After realizing my options of photographing the actual eclipse was minimal I turned to the next best subject – the people enjoying the moment. We had found a spot outside of the state capital so all of the office workers made their way outside about 2 PM for the show.
Scioto Downs Racetrack has been in business for over 50 years just south of Columbus. Their feature is their ‘Googie’ style grandstand, which is unfortunately having some structural issues and is closed so you sit on plastic chairs along the apron of the track. Nevertheless the racing goes on…