Schleichers Ride to Carnival

The Schleichers wear masks and hats weighing up to 50 pounds as they parade in Scheischenlaufen, an ancient festival held every five years in the Tyrol (Tirol) region.  The custom is derived from cults and their rituals, going  as far back as the pre-Christian era.   The Telfs carnival has been held every 5 years since 1890.<br />
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Scheischenlaufen.An ancient festival held every five years in the Tyrol (Tirol) region.  Telfs' Schleicherlaufen is one of the oldest traditions and one of  the largest carnivals in Tyrol. All in all, more than 500 people -  only men - in more than a dozen groups take part in this living tradition.<br />
The carnival procession consists of a seemingly mystic core, which is mainly represented by the "Schleicher" (Skulkers) and  the "Wilden" (Savages), and more groups where the emphasis  is on the funny, satirical element..Schleichers are picked up in a horse drawn carriage and taken to a meeting point. Wild Ones line up in the street to escort each parade group.  They used to scare the crowd to move them out of the way before there were police lines and tape..The highly decorated hats have been used for many years and are kept in the museum in Telfs until they are worn for the festival. <br />
They are very heavy--weighing up to 50 pounds, so it is quite an ordeal to balance one on the head for hours. They also wear masks and walk in the slow ceremonial procession in the parade giving a little shake to ring the bell on their butts.<br />
The origins of Telfs' Schleicherlaufen are unknown. The earliest documentation  dates back to 1612. However, there are well-founded speculations, that  this fascinating custom is derived from cults and their rituals, going  as far back as the pre-Christian era.  The Telfs carnival has been held every 5 years since 1890.