Easter Traditions in Germany

During our weekend visit to my old hometown village on this Easter weekend, we encountered the Rappler group again.

The Rappler are a group of young Catholics, who make a lot of noise by turning the handles on their wooden Rappelkasten, while walking though the village at all times of the day.

This little village in Franconia even posted this reminder at its entrance:

"Achtung Rappler" posted in Rieden

The last time I heard them this morning was at 4:22. I glanced at the clock and figured they must have met at 4:15 at the nearby church to start their procession through the village.

This photo were taken yesterday evening as they came through Main Street once again.

Rappelkasten band in Hambach/Franconia

Nowadays, girls can join these church-organized groups as well.

Tobacco and Church in Sicily

On our strolls through Trapani, I discovered this unusual photo on a cigarette machine in front of a tobacco shop.

vending machine for cigarettes with church ad

The photo advertisement on the right side of the machine shows Jesus, I’d assume. Is the church running ads for attracting more members? Are cigarette consumers supposed to feel guilty when buying a pack?

Interestingly enough, one can only buy cigarettes from the machine by inserting one’s health card, I have been told. Would it be the health insurance card? If so, then this is an interesting way of gathering data for health statistics.

Springtime in Sicily

We have only returned from our trip yesterday afternoon. Mostly everything is unpacked, pictures have been uploaded, bills have been sorted, and memories stored away.

Here are a few  more pictures taken in Trapani, Sicily.

Easter Sunday procession through Trapani

Six men upfront and six men in the back carried this float from one point to the next. In between, little strips of white and yellow paper came falling from the sky (well, from a balcony somewhere). Many people gathered at a market place where a high catholic figure, in a red robe, spoke down to the people from yet another balcony.

Trapani in the morning hours

The houses are tall and the roads so narrow. These tall buildings serve as a windshield and temperature buffer. There seems to be a constant wind, which must be rather nice in the summer time. Except during the days of the African wind Scirocco, which can paralyze life up to 20 days each year.

Sicilian coastline

The water is so clear and clean looking. On our walks, we only saw very low rocks – no cliffs at all – around the coastline. Some of these rocks show fossils in the shape of shells, snails. etc.

Street with a view

Brownish buildings, black rocks in the water, and the blue sea, all mingled in sunshine in April.

Amid rocks and mermaids’ tears, there was the catch of the morning…

I was beach combing for mermaids’ tears, and found myself in mermaids’ tears heaven. There were so many washed up on the shore. Not just regular broken glass shards, but the ones who had been in the water for a long time, polished smoothly by sand and water (a good quality mermaids’ tear takes 15 – 60 years of natural polish). It took me a minute to realize I was picking them out of a long strip of fish heads washed ashore.

There is much more to discover in Sicily. We only had three days there, but it was enough to realize that there is so much more to do and see.

I was able to use my Italian skills here and there, but you could also get by with only using English with the younger generation.

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