Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Festival in Bad Tölz

We took a step back into the misty German past with a visit to Bad Tölz for the Leonardifahrt festival.

On Nov. 6 each year, this town in the foothills of the Alps (about an hour south of Munich) is innundated with over a hundred elaborate horsedrawn carts, each fully loaded with local inhabitants decked out in their finest Bavarian festival garb. They make a procession to the Leonhard chapel on a hill at the edge of town for a priestly blessing and then process back again, occasionally whipping the ground to chastize any evil spirits that might be tempted to spoil the fun.

This year, the town was literally inundated as well, with howling winds and rain forcing many festival participants and gawkers to protect their authentic garb with anachronistic sheets of plastic. It was the only clue, however, that the event was taking place in the 21st century.

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