Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gloeckler Light Men Running

Oops, what's happening outside? (Video at bottom of this post). There is the sound of bells and chimes and a row of white dressed men with lanterns on their heads are showing up. The lanterns have the forms of stars, penticles, the sun, the half moon ...

These men are kneeling down, actually they form a kind of procession. They run in circles and loops. And around houses. What's up?

Let's bring some light into this situation. For this I use here the photo editing software

This performance happens on the eve of January the 5th in a small village close to Bad Goisern in Upper Austria. The proper German term for this kind of action is ' GlöcklerLauf ' which means the run of the 'Glöckler'. 'Glocke' actually means 'bell' and these men do wear cow-bells on leatherbelts around their hips. Nevertheless some experts say that the word 'Glöckler' derives from the word 'knocking' so to speak they are 'knockers' that knock on peoples doors.

We change the scenery and switch to Bad Ischl, the 'old Kaiser Town'. The place where Kaiser Franz Josef used to relax in the 19th century.
And ... we meet a king that's on the front (is kind of a leader) of a procession of 'knockers'.
No they are not the kind of knockers that Stephen King is describing in TommyKnockers :) .

No, we didn't get in the way of this horse.

Here we can take a closer look at these light-caps or lanterns on the heads of these men.
There are also groups of women that do this nowadays.

Again adding some light we see that there's a crowd watching the action. Just like us, hehe.

The atmosphere surely contains a kind of magic and is charming.
What's the purpose of this action?
You know ... the usual fight of light against darkness ...

This tradition is supposed to have it's origin in the village EbenSee which is situated at the Southern End of the TraunSee Lake.

From here this tradition spread to surrounding regions even to parts of Styria and the country of SalzBurg.

Let's have a closer look at these lanterns (so called 'GlöcklerKappen').

Weight: up to 30 pounds and more.

Some motives from the local Flora.

A feast of lights ...

... with sometimes patriotic motives.

If you enjoyed this post you might like also descriptions of the following traditions:

Krampus Time

And here is the promised video:

Thanks to Eric and Petra for helping me in this post.

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