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The Devils-Run in Sand in Taufers

An eerie yet beautiful spectacle in December- numerous devils run in the village centre

South tyrolean tradition is being brought back to life during Advent Time in Sand in Taufers – The Devils-Run.

The village trembles

The stamping of hooves on Ambrosius Night will send a cold shiver down your spine. A wild mob dressed up with furs, long coats and horns on their traditional masks (Lorfn) are on their way. Though not to worry, here comes Santa and his servant Ruprecht. With the help of their heavenly army they will defeat Evil for Good.

The Devils outfits are impressive but the wooden masks are an art in their own right. In these often very heavy hand crafted wooden “Lorfn” much imaginative detail can be seen. Together with rattling chains, deafening cows bells, fire spitting little devils and cheeky witches (Perchten) the spectacle and indeed the illusion is complete.

History of the tradition

The rite harks back to legend. One which tells the story of times of famine where young farmers, men from high up in the mountains dressed in animal furs and horns, went off on raids . After some time however the so called Gottseibeiuns (godbebyus - the devil himself) joined the raiders unnoticed. To get a rid of the eerie fellow the men appealed to the Holy who succeeded to ban the evil. Since then the Devils-Run is performed to commemorate the victory of Good over Evil and to thank Santa Claus for it. Santa together with his followers amongst them his servent Ruprecht are marking the end of the parade.

 

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