This weekend I travelled to Bavaria to experience the German countryside. The area is beautiful, and waking up to the sounds of birds chirping is delightful. Less enjoyable was being awoken by a sound I can only describe as a piece of wood being dragged over a washboard at 6AM. And now I have learned about the tradition of Ratschen.
This tradition was explained to me thusly; “in the Catholic tradition, all church bells stop chiming from Thursday to Saturday before Easter. So that you don’t miss the church bells, children walk through the town making noises with instruments made from wood and reciting Ostern Ratschen poems. If you want to, you can give them money, which they share with the other children in the neighborhood.”
I wasn’t able to find a lot of other information online that wasn’t in German, so to say I continue to be somewhat baffled by this tradition, is an understatement. I’ve attached a picture of the children who came to the door. They were very cute, and very confused as to the excitement around taking their picture. If you have more information about this tradition, would love to hear from you in the comments.