Grass ringing

Long lived tradition

The wake-up call of the bells: their noise goes through marrow like leg and deep into the earth. There, after a barren winter, the grass is awakened. Full it shall grow. That is the goal. That's what they take care of every year - the "Grasausläuter" in Schwaz.

Whoever wants to sleep in his so cozy bed in Schwaz long and enjoyable on this day, can not. "That's why we leave already at half past nine - people have to fly out of their beds," admits Reinhard Hechenblaickner. Remorse or pity are the last emotions that move him during this confession. That's how it is. And that's how it should be. No, this is how it has to be, after all, the noise that sends the people of Schwaz flying from their beds has a miraculous purpose. "We finally drive out the winter and ring out the grass - that it starts to sprout and grow again," he still says.

Shaking up the earth

Reinhard Hechenblaickner is a lieutenant. On this very special day, however, his title doesn't make anyone stand at attention. On the contrary. Movement is what flows through the city of Schwaz acoustically and quite concretely when Hechenblaickner and his comrades of the First Schwaz Rifle Company set off to shake awake not only the sleepyheads but rather the earth itself with enormously loud ringing.

All kinds of mischief

So exactly no one actually knows how old this custom is. Perhaps that is also not so important, it is nevertheless a matter of the fact that thereby a tradition lives on, whose sense and purpose could be hardly more beautiful. But the historical "G'schichtl'n" are always exciting. In her book "Volkskundliches aus dem bayrisch-österreichischen Alpengebiet" (Folklore from the Bavarian-Austrian Alpine Region) from 1910, Marie Andree-Eysn quoted Franz Wieser or rather from his communications and recorded in beautiful old German script that the Grasausläuter in Schwaz used to wear masks and thereby approached the Perchten. "But the masks came off and the Grasausläuter then painted their faces with soot and, since they were always served schnapps by the farmers, got up to all kinds of mischief, so that the authorities stopped the Grasausläuten. Now it is allowed again in a moderate form and the boys get now, where they come, mostly milk as a drink," she writes.