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Blochziehen#

Blochziehen, popular custom to celebrate the end of the carnival season Fasching in the South East of Austria and in the Tyrol (Oetztal Valley). After the twigs of a conifer trunk ("Bloch") have been removed, the trunk is decorated and then pulled through the village by unmarried women. On the trunk sits a "bridegroom" dressed in a top-hat and tail-coat. The custom is usually interpreted as a substitute wedding ceremony. In former times, the Burschenschaft (village fraternity) used to organize the Blochziehen, today it is mainly in the hands of associations which sell the tree at an auction after the ceremony.

Literature#

S. Walter, Bloch- und Pflugziehen, in: Oesterreichischer Volkskundeatlas, 4th instalment, 1971.