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Once upon a time, in pre-christian, pagan times, the people in the alpine valleys were living precarious lives. Winter was an especially hard time, threatening the families with cold, vast amounts of snow, a frozen soil and dark, very long nights. In that time they developed rites to fight their angst, and some of them were kept alive – despite Christianisation – until now. One of these is the driving out of the winter, installed here as the “Perchtenlauf”, where youngsters in masks run from farmhouse to farmhouse, dance with a lot of noise, and get invited for some hard liquor.

The expression of the masks has changed, adapted to the presence and the influence of the media, and so has the production process of these masks. Once an occupation for winter evenings, now it became professionalised.

Expect some more images from an exhibition of “Perchten” masks over the next days. And because there are no Perchten masks to drive a away those f… spammers, I have installed a captcha plugin. I hope it doesn’t drive away all the commenters…


  1. I wonder what the old people think of the mask on the left in the first photo – it looks like something out of a US zombie movie.

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