December 19, 2013

A German Advent belief

In the past German folk beliefs alleged that evil spirits and witches accomplished many acts of mischief on Thursday nights during Advent. This belief may have faded, but the German Knocking Nights remain. Knocking Nights takes place on one or all of the last three Thursday nights during Advent. In parts of Upper and Lower Bavaria and rural zones of south Germany, groups of costumed children parade through the streets of town on these nights, ringing cowbells, cracking whips, rattling tin cans, and tossing pebbles against windows. They may march from house to house knocking on doors, reciting rhymes, and asking for gifts in return.

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