Eating St Blaise pretzels and reviving the "Joggl"
Eating St Blaise pretzels and reviving the "Joggl" on Saint Blaise's Day in Völs
Where: Völs, when: Saint Blaise's Day, 3 February.
The custom of the "Blasiusbrezn" (St Blaise pretzels) in the town of Völs is a prime example of how pre-Christian cults have been preserved right through to the present day. On 3 February, the town not only celebrates the feast of its patron saint, Saint Blaise, but also brings the "Joggl", the symbolic character from the Völs’ Carnival celebrations, back to life.
The Church of Saint Blaise in Völs enjoys a truly unique location. It towers up high above the town and was most probably built on top of what was once a pre-Christian ritual site. Given the church's namesake, it comes as no surprise that the 3 February has been declared a local holiday in Völs. This special day begins very early in the morning, when the pastor heads to the local bakery to bless the special "Blasiusbrezn" pretzels, which are then taken to the church in a procession, ready for mass. After the service, they are devoured by the congregation, especially its younger members.
When the last bells of the church celebrations have finished ringing out from the Church of Saint Blaise, the carnival fun kicks off in the village centre. It begins with the revival of the town’s "Joggl" character in a ceremony that goes on late into the night.