Fotocredit: Martin Huber | Nikolospiel in Krungl, Bad Mitterndorf

The “Nikolospiel” in Bad Mitterndorf is a parlor and parade game that takes place every year on the 5th December is presented in various places. The performance originally took place in farmhouses and inns. Since 1959, the performance on the centerplace in the middle of the village has also been presented to a wider audience. The Nikolospiel is composed of different characters who form a parade between the performance venues.

The first written sources of “Nikolospiel” date from the 19th century. Century, before that, the texts were handed over orally for decades. The scenic sequence of the game has hardly changed over the centuries. Starting with the appearance of the “Quartiermacher” (who ensures disciplin and order) a “Krampus” and the angel, the central scene of Bishop Nicholas comes about. The pastor accompanying him asks the children about their catechetic knowledge. The „Jedermann“ scene and the performances of “Eheteufel” and “Helllord Lucifer” as well as the hustle and bustle of the “Krampusse” complement the game. After the night guard’s horn signal, the haunt ends and the procession continues.

Between the performance venues, the figures form a long masquerade, which is made of straw-covered figures, with five-meter-long horns, the so-called “Schab”. Together with their “Goaßl’s”, snoring at the eighth time, they clear the way for the individual characters of the game.

Photo credit: Martin Huber | Nikolospiel in Krungl, Bad Mitterndorf

Compliance with the order, compliance with the laws and rules or Obedience as a way to God’s grace seems to be a subtext of the game through. The props include hand-carved masks, coatings, clamps, and other objects that are stored and exhibited in the “Strick” Collection (name oft he museums owners) in Bad Mitterndorf.

Photo credits: Martin Hubert and Aster Johann | Nikolospiel in Krungl, Bad Mitterndorf

Not only the Nikolospiel itself, but also the rituals and customs in the weeks before the 5th December, are part of the “special season” in Bad Mitterndorf. From the first weekend in November, the children will take advantage of the opportunity to practice “snawling” with the “Goaßl’n” at eight-clock, and the 140 members of the nicologic group will also meet in a cozy round in the course of the preparations, whereby the actors of the individual scenes cultivate their own rituals in small groups.

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