Grasausläuten

Long lived tradition

The alarm call of the bells: their noise goes through Mark like leg and deep into the earth. There the grass is awakened after barren winter. It should grow rich. That is the goal. That's why they take care of each year - the "Grass Explanatory" in Schwaz.

Anyone who wants to sleep late and enjoyably that day in his cozy bed in Schwaz can not. "That's why we're leaving at half past nine - people have to fly out of their beds," admits Reinhard Hechenblaickner. Repentance or pity are the last impulses that move him on this confession. That's the way it is. And that's the way it should be. No, that's how it must be, after all, the noise that makes the Schwazers fly out of their beds has a wondrous sense. "We are finally driving out the winter and we're churning out the grass - it starts to sprout and grows again," he says.

Shake the earth

Reinhard Hechenblaickner is a lieutenant. But on this very special day his title does not leave anybody standing. On the contrary. Movement is what flows through the city of Schwaz acoustically and very concretely, when Hechenblaickner and his comrades of the first Schwazer Schützenkompanie go out to shake with enormous loud bells not only the sleepyheads, but rather the earth itself.

All sorts of mischief

Nobody really knows how old this custom is. Maybe that's not all that important, it's about keeping alive a tradition whose meaning and purpose could hardly be more beautiful. But the historical "G'schicht'n are always exciting. In her book "Folklore from the Bavarian-Austrian Alpine Region" from 1910, Marie Andree-Eysn cited Franz Wieser or from his communications and stated in beautiful Old German script that the grass-clearers in Schwaz formerly wore masks and thereby approached the Perchten. "But the masks came off, and the grass clippers then painted their faces with soot, and, since they were always served with schnapps by the peasants, drove all kinds of nonsense, so that the authorities rang off the grass. Now it is allowed in a moderate form again and the boys are now, wherever they come, usually milk as a drink, "she writes.