The Perchtenlauf in Austria is usually held on Epiphany. The Perchten are old masks, usually of witches and fearsome animals, that have been handed down for generations. People wearing the masks run through the village beating drums, ringing bells, singing, shouting, and making as much noise as possible to scare winter away—an ancient custom that can be traced back to pre-Christian times. The procession of masked figures stops in the main square of the village and everyone begins to dance wildly, making even more noise than before. More… Discuss

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