Friday, January 14, 2011

Jingle Jingle Jingle!

The annual Glöcklerlauf ("Bell Run") takes place in Stainach, Austria on January 5.  It is a romantic, age-old tradition, meant to scare off the spirits of winter.  Dozens dressed in white wearing oversized jingle bells on their belts and festive candle-lit luminarias on their heads participate.  They run through the town square *jingle* *jingle* *jingle* while the audience drinks mulled wine and "oohs" and "ahhs" over the stunning beauty of the luminarias.  The performance is enhanced by a brass band, whip crackers, Christmas carolers and this year, a poem by local author Paula Grogger.  I've gone every year for the past four years (and tell the astonished natives that I travel to from the U.S. to Austria especially for this event!)

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