Advent is the time of expectation, the mysteriously blissful atmosphere of which even in the mad rush of the present day almost no one can resist.
The four “Tapping Nights” (Klöpfelnächte), along with the nights before “Nicolas’ Day” at 6th December, the “Lucy Day” at 13th December, “Thomas Day” at 21st December, Christmas Eve itself, New Years’s Day and Epiphany belongs to the so-called “Grim Nights” (Raunächte). According to old demonic beliefs, wild and ferocious figures (e.g. “Krampuss”, “Buttnmanndls” or “Perchten”) were out on these nights to scare the people.
The dark time of year has spawned lots of traditions with both Christian and pagan roots. From religious light festivals or “vociferous” customs like “Aperschnalzen” whip-cracking, to “Schellenrühren” bell-ringing during the Fasching carnival – customs and traditions unite the people in the villages and in the cities.