“Lasst uns froh und munter sein, und uns in dem Herrn erfreu’n, lustig, lustig, trallalalala, heut ist Nikolaus abend da,…”, so begins the most well-known and beloved St Nicholas song in the Tyrolean Alps. Roughly translated, the lyrics are, “Let us be joyful and glad, merry, merry, trallalalala, today is Nikolaus Eve…” The holy St Nicholas will be visiting the Mayrhofen Advent at the Waldfestplatz again this year, and bringing all the good little boys and girls a bag of treats.
Holy Saint Nicholas with his choir of angels
On Sunday, 4th December at exactly 5pm, St Nicholas and his angels will parade through the Waldfestplatz and onto the stage. Dressed in his white gown and red coat with his bishop’s hat and golden staff, he is a character who commands respect. From the stage, St Nicholas will speak to the children in the audience: who has been good this year?! The shining eyes of the children, gazing up at him in the quiet of the Waldfestplatz is spellbinding!
A Krampus-free zone
According to Austrian tradition, St Nicholas is usually accompanied on his visits by the “Krampus” demons with loud bells and sticks for whipping. Good children receive a gift from St Nicholas and naughty children are chased and whipped by the Krampus. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, many young children are scared of these demons and, therefore, we have chosen not to include them in our celebrations. St Nicholas is a good man and so, on our St Nicholas Eve, he is accompanied by a host of angels. Krampus demons are not allowed into the festival, nor are any other sinister figures (such as Knecht Rupert or Killer clowns).
A present for every child
Every year we do our best to prepare a bag of treats for every child. However, in the last few years, we have always run out of bags because of the unanticipated rush to get them. For this reason, we ask parents and adults to please make sure that every child only takes one bag. Hopefully, this will ensure that nobody is disappointed, and every child can enjoy the festival and receive their gift.
A child-friendly Waldfestplatz
On the 4th December, the Waldfestplatz will open its doors a little earlier (at 2pm). There will be special attractions for children including a little petting zoo and, of course, Kröll’s Advent Bakery. In the bakery children can let their creativity flow as they decorate their own Mayrhofen advent angel biscuit. They can use marzipan, sugar, coloured icing or bright sprinkles to decorate their biscuit– whatever their heart (or tummy!) desires!
After the St Nicholas procession is the Christkind procession
Don’t forget! On Sunday, 18th December at 5pm, the Christkind (Christ Child) will be appearing at the Waldfestplatz. This is sure to be another Christmas highlight for the children! Of course, it isn’t just the children who are looking forward to these special moments though, us adults can also hardly wait for the Christmas magic to begin…
Click here for details of all dates and events of the Mayrhofen Advent.