Advent in Austria merges angels and demons, Christian and pagan traditions – and it’s not for the faint-hearted

It’s just below freezing in the village of Grödig on the outskirts of Salzburg, and a large crowd has gathered. The air is thick with the smell of glühwein and anticipation. Five minutes away, in a council lock-up on the main road, science professor Clemens Spechtler, 45, is preparing the final touches for his transformation from man to beast. In his shaggy goat-fur breeches he is already a yeti from the chest down. His son Jonas, 14, similarly attired, stands at his side, with the insouciance of a young Pan. Behind them more demons are beginning to emerge, their grotesque masks lined up menacingly next to a stack of water bottles, spare wheels and empty crates.

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Source: The Guardian

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