So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria, God and life, teaching and gardening plus the occasional cow

The Lungau Easter fire

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 I thought it good to re-blog this as a  follow on to Lungau in Spring!
Easter will start on Good Friday morning with the kids coming round with rackets, like the old football ones, saying a prayer and driving evil spirits away – another example of Catholicsm meets the old religions!   Of course the kids also then get sweets and stuff!  There is only a bank holiday here on Friday if you are Protestant!  Then Saturday night, all around the Lungau are these great fires – see picture above. It symbolises Christ rising to heaven.  There are more here then other parts of Austria apparently because Napoleon was on his way here, saw the fires and presumed they were parked troops and so went around the Lungau.   The car is parked at the foot apparently to stop people coming and burning it too early!
 
There is a Church service before the fire and a flame (apparently directly from Rome) is carried in procession to light the fire.  Or if you don’t go to the service, churches have a brazier outside from which you can light your own fire.  Bonfires are banned here, unless you are a farmer, so a lot of junk gets stuffed in these fires, and if there is little wind, the Lungau lies under a pall of smoke the next day, and the green party has another hissy fit.   Then on Sunday, there is a church service where people are given gifts of food such as butter and cheese but I’ve not got to the bottom of this one! Again, more paganism, very few chocolate  Easter eggs here, its all Easter rabbits. Houses are decorated with branches of pussy willow and hung with fake eggs beautifully decorated. People eat boiled eggs with shells coloured with dye – maybe another reason why the air isn’t so fresh here at Easter!!!
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