Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pagan Rites

The greatest highlight of the ecclesiastical year in Carinthia is Fleischweihe, the blessing of Easter ham, hard-boiled eggs, Reindling, and all the other goodies that make up the traditional Osterjause. The idea is more of a symbolic one, not that you actually have to empty your fridge and lug its entire contents to church or wherever the blessing-of-your-fridge-contents may take place. In the case of the Ebenthal parish, the church couldn't possibly accommodate all the hungy people yearning to tuck into their consecrated ham so the priest does various open air blessings in 15 minute-intervals, one of them in the park right behind my parents' house, make-shift altar and all. I took a picture from the vantage point of one of the balcony of my Mum's study:
Fleischweihe (onemorehandbag)

Far from being a Catholic fundamentalist and not exactly deserving of the label of regular church attendee (ahem), I still refuse to join the ranks of people who don't even step inside a church at Christmas, but would never miss Fleischweihe and the opportunity to show off the cross-stitched cloths covering their bulging wicker baskets.

Which doesn't mean that I object to my Mum having our ham consecrated...


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