Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Retrieved from ” https: Elsewhere she was known as Posterli, Quatemberca and Fronfastenweiber. Retrieved from ” https: Perchta or Berchta English: In southern Austria , in Carinthia among the Slovenes, a male form of Perchta was known as Quantembermann , in German, or Kvaternik , in Slovene the man of the four Ember days. Men dressed as the ugly Perchten during the 16th century and went from house to house driving out bad spirits.

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In the Alpine areas of Austria, these ancient beliefs were the basis for young men to dress up as evil spirits in an attempt to banish those that accompany Frau Perchta. In some descriptions, Perchta has two forms ; she may appear either as beautiful and white as snow like her name, or as elderly and haggard. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.

They never succeeded to the degree that Perchten traditions disappeared completely, though. It is celebrated on the first of March and marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Pagan Heritage in the Austrian Alps. Impressions from a Perchtenlauf in Tyrol. But even today, at times when the most remote valleys have prechten well-developed skiing industry including a range prechten 5-star-hotels pwrchten a local airport, many ancient traditions are preserved and still alive.

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Filzmooser Perchten | Die Filzmooser Perchten – traditionelle Perchten im Pongau

Elsewhere she was known as Posterli, Quatemberca and Fronfastenweiber. Perchta is often identified as stemming from the same Germanic goddess as Holda and other female figures of German folklore see Frija-Frigg.

In recent times Krampus and Perchten have increasingly been displayed in a single event, leading to a loss of distinction of the two. Heimatwerk Austria preserves folk culture. Later from the 16th century on the men in costumes were – and still are – called Perchten.

The horse tail is also a symbol of the Perchten – they are used for punishment. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In light of the dwindling rural population of the Alps, many customs have evolved into more modern interpretations. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Originally, the word Perchten plural of Perchta referred to the female masks representing the entourage of an ancient goddessFrau Perchtaor Pehta Baba as it is known in Slovenia.

She was particularly concerned to see that girls had spun the whole of their allotted portion of flax or wool during the year.

Smith disagrees and suggests that Perchta represents the personification of the feast of the Epiphany Perchta’s Dayand is therefore not pre-Christian. In many old descriptions, Perchta had one large foot, sometimes called a goose foot or swan foot. Men dressed as the ugly Perchten during the 16th century and went from house to house driving out bad spirits.


In the 17th and 18th century, the church finally realised that these customs were of pagan origin and suddenly thought it would be worth abolishing them.


According to Jacob GrimmPerchta was spoken of in Old High German in the 10th century as Frau Berchta and thought to be a white-robed goddess who oversaw spinning and weaving, like the myths of Holda. Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from May All articles needing rewrite Articles needing additional references from June All articles needing additional references Articles with German-language external links.

This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia’s quality standards. Grimm thought that her male counterpart or equivalent is Berchtold. The costume consists of a brown wooden mask and brown or white sheep’s skin. These come during the Twelve Nights and festivals to “bring luck and wealth to the people. Sometimes the interest of tourists helps to keep folk culture alive, too.

In the 16th century her name was also given to the evil creatures accompanying her and young athletic men wrapped in grim, fearsome and awful masks moved out from house to house to banish the bad demons and ghosts. Retrieved from ” https: In Bavaria, women weave fir wreaths decorated with paper roses and small mirrors to ward off demons during the downhill journey.

Stephen’s Day Sol Invictus Yule. Traditionally on December 5th and 6th St.

Beautiful masks are said to encouraging financial windfalls, and the ugly masks are worn to drive away evil spirits.