In communities throughout Europe stretching back over 2500 years, folks have gathered during the dark season, donned grotesque masks and bestial costumes, and wildly cavorted through their towns to drive out evil spirits and the doldrums of winter. Let’s prepare the hotel for PantheaCon properly with a good, thorough and time-tested European cleansing tradition. Bring your furs, antlers, horns, masks, grotesque costumes, rattles, drums, bells, and brooms. Join the Furious Revels for a wild cavort, and let’s cleanse the Doubletree from evil spirits and ill-meaning wights the old fashioned way!
I've even gotten a horse skull and will be crafting a very old-style "hobby horse". I am really excited about this and would love for you guys to join me. Programming asked if I could give them an approximate ball-park figure of how many people I think will be joining me, so if you are thinking of attending, let me know! I am so incredibly excited about this - I've been researching these types of parades/revels for weeks! I've commissioned this awesome artist to make me a pair of amazing huge wearable ram horns, and the hobby horse should be amazing.
Here's a video of a Krampus parade, I think in either Germany or Austria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
More resources! (this is as much for me as for anyone else... this way I have my links in a common location)
Alpine country traditions: http://en.wikipedia.org/
Perchtenlaufen in Austria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Zvoncari traditions in Croatia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Kurentovanje traditions in Slovenia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Old mask found in Dorset, shows similar ritual elements: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
More on Dorset Ooser: http://www.darkdorset.co.uk/ooser
Bulgarian traditions, going back to Ancient Thrace: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
In Bulgarian but the pictures are amazing: http://www.surva-bg.com/
Hungarian version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
In Croatian, but has amazing slide show of masks & costumes: http://www.buso.tk/
Mari Lwyd from Wales: http://en.wikipedia.org/
The Golowan festival is a Cornish midsummer festival but has similar structure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Hobby horse customs throughout Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobby_horse