There are still many pagan rituals practiced throughout Europe, according to Slate, which published photographs taken by Charles Freger during travels that included stops at pagan festivals.

The Krampus was one of the creatures encountered by Freger on his journey. A Krampus is a two-horned, hairy creature that lives in the Alpine region of Europe, which includes Austria, Hungary and Slovenia, and is said to punish naughty children during the winter holiday season. A Krampus is basically a contrarian character to that of the myth of Saint Nicholas, or what Americans would call Santa Claus.

Freger encountered the Krampus in Austria, and began Freger work covering pagan festivals throughout Europe. Many of the pagan festivals are celebrated in more remote, rural areas. He spent two years traveling through 19 countries.

"I found myself in front of something very radical, no face," Freger told Slate. "It was more of a character with a mask and a focus where the body is more important than the face itself."

He began the project intending to cover 12 countries, but as he became more involved, and more interested, the number expanded.

"When I work on a project I do it quite intensely," Freger told Slate. "If I start, I have to go to the end of it.

"Of course, there are more groups but what I found is a representation of what you can find generally in Europe," he continued. "There was a slight touch of universality because a lot of the groups were doing something similar without knowing one another.

"To me this was really exciting and interesting," Freger added.

His work has resulted in a book, "Wilder Mann: the Image of the Save," which is being published by Dewi Lewis Publishing. The series of photographs is also on view at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York through May 18.

A Pagan Festival.