Presentation on theme: "Cutting off the tree History – Pull a log This is a very old custom in East and West Austria. In every village it is a little bit different, so we tell."— Presentation transcript:
History – Pull a log This is a very old custom in East and West Austria. In every village it is a little bit different, so we tell you the way we do it in our home area. You pull a log when no one get married in the village during carnival. About 300 years ago weddings took place only during carnival time and not during the other time of the year. When two people got married, many other people were invited and had many excellent things to eat: meat, sausages, cakes, biscuits, etc. So it was a great pity, especially for the young men that there was no marriage in the village. Therefore they drove to the forest, stole the biggest conifer, mostly a common spruce and brought this conifer to the village. The tree represented the bride, it was a forest bride. This forest bride was decorated like a real bride with flowers, a veil, etc.
This is the same in the whole area. Then the tree was carried through the village and from now on there are different ways to do the ceremony. In Burgenland it is common that the young unmarried men carry the log, on the log sits the groom and a rooster. The rooster represents the fertility. They walk through the village and many people follow the procession. Many customs of a wedding are proceeded now, the wrong bride, a very ugly and naughty woman is introduced as the bride, the groom says: No, I marry my forest bride. After the procession the groom will be married to the log, but in the last second comes a wonderful lady to be the real bride. Then follows a ceremony that is the same as he would marry a real girl with all the customs that are usual by a marriage in Burgenland.
In other regions there is no marriage at the end. The log was brought from one house of an unmarried girl to the next and on each house a part of the log was sawed and given to the unmarried girl. Especially in West Austria there are creatures with the log, e.g. an ice bear representing the winter, or the Giggerler, a very strong and handsome boy representing the fertility, (in Burgenland the rooster), witches, hunter, etc. As I said in the beginning, there are different ways to celebrate it. In Burgenland we take the tree, decorate it, make the procession during the village with a groom, a rooster and last but not least the wedding of the forest bride.
Some customs during the wedding ceremony: Before Midnight one have to steal one of the wedding cakes Before Midnight the bride was stolen and the groomsman hast to bring her back. At midnight the bride and the groom have to dance with the gusts, one after the other. They shall show everyone that they are young and strong. In German you say: Kranzl abtanzen which means: the veil is given to the unmarried girls. The bride has to jump over a table to show that she is young and strong.