Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Monday, 5 December 2016

Saint Nicholas and Krampus
Were You Naughty Or Nice?

Don't be sassy with Krampus! A true Tale

Saint Nicholas Day
Naughty or nice,
on which List
are you? ;-)

A True Krampus Tale

In the rural area of Upper Austria -
where I spent my childhood -
Saint Nicholas visited our house on the
eve of his feast day, and always in company
of at least one Krampus.

I must have been four or five years old,
when I was sure I had recognized a friend of my father's
behind the fearsome Krampus mask. I also figured that
his pelt was really a winter jacket worn inside out and
the chain he was dragging along and rattling noisily
looked like the ones used in cow barns.
He was carrying a large wooden pannier on his back,
just like the one the baker from the next village used
to transport bread.

I don't remember how it started,
but at some point I began to taunt him:
After all, I had been a good girl,
so what was I to be afraid of anyway?
At the end, I challenged him to try to fit me in the pannier
and before I could say anything, was I high up in the air,
lifted into the basket, and out the door we galloped!

I was still giggling when we passed our garden gate and
reached the country road that led towards the village -
we lived outside, amongst fields and meadows -
when all of a sudden I realized I had no shoes and
started begging to please be let go.

Saint Nicholas lifted me at once out of the basket and
onto the icy road and I ran home, with stockinged feet,
through the snowy landscape,
and ran and ran as fast as I could,
all of a sudden sensing danger all around me.

The End

"Traditional celebrations of Saint Nicholas Day
in Northern Europe included gifts left in children's shoes
(the origin of our American Christmas stockings).
Good children receive treats - candies, cookies, apples and nuts,
while naughty children receive switches or lumps of coal.
Sometimes coins were left in the shoes,
reminiscent of the life-saving doweries the saint provided.

Today - especially in families of German extraction -
children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors
on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and expect to find
candy and coins or small gifts in their shoe on December 6th.

In some households the father of the family
may dress up as Saint Nicholas on the eve of his feast.
He comes in, sometimes with his sidekick,

Krampus or Black Peter,
and helps each child examine his conscience.
He admonishes the bad and rewards the good."
Quoted from: -> St. Nicholas

Pictures taken
5 December 2009
Images and own text © by Merisi
All Rights Reserved
Repost from December 2009

Holiday Cheer at the Belvedere
Christmas in Vienna

Curlicues and Christmas Cheer
Christmas Village at the Belvedere

There's a Santa for everyone
on this jolly ride

Photographed Saturday afternoon
at the Upper Belvedere Palace
Images and Text © by Merisi

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Make a Wish
Burano in Vienna

On a winter afternoon, the late afternoon sun illuminates
a row if buildings on the opposite side of the street,
their colorful facades reminiscent of houses in Burano in the Venetian Lagoon

Photographed 3 December 2016
at the intersection of Prinz-Eugen-Straße and Gürtel
near the southern gate of the Belvedere Gardens
Image and Text © by Merisi

Friday, 2 December 2016

Vienna at Christmastime
From the Golden into the Blue Hour

Golden Hour
The setting sun illuminates
the Federal Chancellor Building
View from Michaelerplatz

Looking Up
In the last moments of
the Blue Hour at Kärntner Strasse

The Sacher Hotel
Christmas Lights
Façade at Philharmonikergasse

Images and Text © by Merisi
The Austrian Federal Chancellery at Ballhausplatz 2:
The address of the highest Austrian administrative power for nearly 300 years. -> Video tour of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, including the room where the Congress of Vienna met from 1814 to 1815, which today hosts the press briefings that take place after cabinet meetings.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

A Very Merry Season to All!
Christmastide in Vienna

Straw Girls
Having fun at the straw pit -
the drained reflecting pool in front of St. Charles church -
Christmas market at Karlsplatz

Photographed the evening of 29 November 2016
Images and Text © by Merisi

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Heart Tree at City Hall Christmas Market
Heralding the Changing of the Seasons

Heart Tree
Gerry Gam's big red hearts, ready to warm our souls
in the midst of winter - and a glimpse of the spire
of Vienna's City Hall
Christmas Market

Photographed at sunset on 11 November 2011
as the last golden rays illuminated the city
Image and Text
© by Merisi
City Daily Photo - "Transitions"