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The Krampus Festival - Europe's Strangest Christmas Tradition?

Christmas, for many, is a time for family and caring; for exchanging gifts and reflecting on the things we love most in life.

For others, it's a time for abject terror.

Thanks to the Krampus monster - an evil demon which is essentially the 'anti-claus' - the children of Bavaria and Austria not only live in hope that they will be visited by the benevolent, gift-giving Father Christmas, but are also kept awake at night by the fear of the anthropomorphic horned Krampus - a demon who punishes children who have misbehaved.

Our collective hats go off to the parents of Austro-Bavaria, who have concocted a creature so disturbing that we witnessed genuine terror on the streets of Munich during the Krampus festival. Our visit formed part of our Ultimate Christmas Football Weekend - the video chronicle of our adventure will be released Sunday, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled.

Our trip at the very least solved the mystery of why German players are such ruthlessly effective penalty takers - because after growing up in the shadow of this monster, how could you be afraid of a spot kick?