Thursday, 6 December 2018

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

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, America!
Abraham Lincoln's Manifesto of Gratitude


"The year
that is drawing towards its close,
has been filled with the blessings
of fruitful fields and healthful skies.
To these bounties,
which are so constantly enjoyed
that we are prone to forget
the source from which they come,
others have been added,
which are of so extraordinary a nature,


that they cannot fail
to penetrate and soften even the heart
which is habitually insensible
to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
It has seemed to me fit and proper
that they should be solemnly,
reverently and gratefully acknowledged
as with one heart and voice
by the whole American people.


I do therefore invite my fellow citizens
in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea
and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe
the last Thursday of November next,
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise
to our beneficent Father
who dwelleth in the Heavens.


And I recommend to them that
while offering up the ascriptions
justly due to Him for such singular deliverances
and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence
for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to his tender care all those
who have become widows, orphans, mourners
or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife
in which we are unavoidably engaged,


and fervently implore
the interposition of the Almighty Hand
to heal the wounds of the nation
and to restore it as soon as may be consistent
with the Divine purpose
to the full enjoyment of peace,
harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Quoted from
"A Declaration of Thanksgiving"
Abraham Lincoln's Manifesto of Gratitude
October 3, 1863


Photographed in 2009 in the fields and meadows of
Lake Neusiedl-Seewinkel National Park
© by Merisi

Lake Neusiedl is located
less than an hour's drive south of Vienna

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance of Things Past
Café Drechsler Is But A Dream Now



There is magic



in playing to be alone



in public


Photographed in May 2010 at Café Drechsler
Corner of Linke Wienzeile and Girardigasse
6th District, next to Naschmarkt
A-1060 Vienna Images and Text © by Merisi
Images and Text Copyright by Merisi

Links:
- -> I am so proud to have been invited to select this month's theme for City Daily Photo's Theme Day Gallery.
May I invite all of you to head on over and see what's going on in coffee places around the world?
Please follow the link -> City Daily Photo Theme Day: Scene from a Coffee House
- -> Café Drechsler Homepage:
"In 2007 the doors of this coffee house jewel along Vienna’s Wienzeile-Street re-opened. After careful remodeling by Conran & Partners, Cafe Drechsler now presents itself as a café in 21st century style.
As such it continues the tradition that began with Engelbert Drechsler’s family in 1919 – to be a traditional meeting place for guests who appreciate typical coffee house specialties, classical Viennese coffee house cuisine with seasonal accents, and a relaxed atmosphere day or night."

Monday, 1 October 2018

Good Morning from Vienna!
Guarding Schönbrunn's Gloriette


Schönbrunn's Gloriette
Standing high on the hill behind Schönbrunn Palace,
the Gloriette with its large high-ceilinged center hall
and arcaded wings, this graceful folly in all
its splendid non-usefulness, is in my opinion
one of the most romantic places in all of Vienna.

Image and Text © by Merisi


Sunday, 23 September 2018

Autumn Walked Right In
Change of Season


Rose Hips
Volksgarten

Autumn
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o'er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven's o'er-hanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer's prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!

Image © by Merisi