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Traditional ‘Mullerlauf’ wards off winter demons

Austria’s western state of Tyrol is home to the pre-Christian tradition known as the Mullerlauf when men and boys don scary masks with crooked noses and bushy beards to conduct a procession to the sound of rattles and jingle bells in the cold month of February. The Mullerlauf takes place every year in one of the Tyrollean villages of Muehlau, Arzl, Rum, Thaur or Absam close to Innsbruck. These communities are collectively known as the Martha villages and are regarded as the true home of this spectacle held on February 7.

The procession is led by a group of fearful looking witches who “sweep away” the winter with their brooms. They are followed by a figure called the Kloetzler who is covered in small pieces of wood that clack together to frighten winter demons. It is the job of the Melchers to invoke spring by dancing to a waltz played on an accordion.

Read the original article at: Earth Times

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