In contemporary culture, Perchta is portrayed as a “rewarder of the generous, and the punisher of the bad, particularly lying children”. The horse tail is also a symbol of the Perchten – they are used for punishment. If they had not, she would slit their bellies open, remove their stomach and guts, and stuff the hole with straw and pebbles. The word Perchten is plural for Perchta , and this has become the name of her entourage, as well as the name of animal masks worn in parades and festivals in the mountainous regions of Austria. During an annual town festival someone dresses up as the creature and is “captured” and brought to the town.

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Pre-Christian Alpine traditions

He believed she was the feminine equivalent of Berchtoldand was sometimes the leader of the Wild Hunt. She would know whether the children and young servants of the household had behaved well and worked hard all year. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It is the winters that bring darkness, cold and dangers, so it is easy to understand how such believes could evolve.

Native Peoples of the WorldSteven L.

They all have enormous fangs and tusks and various pairs of horns to spike several dammed souls. In recent times Krampus and Perchten have increasingly been displayed in a single event, leading to a loss of distinction of the two.


Ministery for Education, Culture pdrchten Science includes folk culture. The high regional diversity results from the perchtten isolation perhcten Alpine communities. Pagan Heritage in the Austrian Alps. Originally, the word Perchten plural of Perchta referred to the female masks representing the entourage of an ancient goddessFrau Perchtaor Pehta Baba as it is known in Slovenia.

Retrieved from ” https: They never succeeded to the degree that Perchten traditions disappeared completely, though. Traditionally on December 5th and 6th St. There are numerous Perchten customs in Salzburg and other predominantly mountain regions in Austria.

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Perchta – Wikipedia

The Perchten of TyrolSalzburg and parts of Upper Austria are one very prominent example of heathenish or pagan traditions in the Alps. Men dressed as the ugly Perchten during the 16th century and perchfen from house to house driving out bad spirits. The central and eastern Alps of Europe are rich in folklore traditions dating back to pre-Christian times, with surviving elements originating from GermanicGaulish Gallo-RomanPerchtten Carantanian and Raetian culture.

This figure is believed to originate from stories of house spirits such as kobolds or elves. This page was last edited on 20 Marchat Impressive mountain ranges, glaciers, and deep valleys and dales fostering folk culture pefchten, the preservation of local dialects and inbreeding like no other landscape. Especially in the countless mountain villages spread all over Salzburg, which are difficult to access, some of these quite old customs and traditions survived through the centuries until today.



In the Alpine regions, the Krampus is a mythical horned figure represented as accompanying Saint Nicholas. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Views Read Edit View history. These customs also perchtrn to awake the spirits of the New Year, that were believed to rest in the soil underneath the snow cover.


They have become part of a distinct regional pride. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This article needs perchteh citations for verification. Traditionally, the masks were displayed in processions Perchtenlauf during the last pfrchten of December and first week of January, and particularly on January 6.

Around September 8, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, it is customary to bring the cattle down from the upland pastures for the winter. The discussion page may contain suggestions. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This page was last edited on 29 Decemberat In the 19th century, the age of romanticism meant that people discovered a keen interest folk culture.