Leonhardifahrt – The Blessing of the Horse

The grinding sound of wagon wheels, bells and low whispered prayers while steam rises in the morning light from the backs of beautifully liveried horses…that for me is Leonhardifahrt in Schliersee.

On a crisp autumn morning in November, the wooden carriages begin their procession to the St. Leonhard Chapel in Fischhausen.  Each hand painted historic wagon, decorated in the old way with straw, flowers and religious themes is filled with gloriously dressed men and women.

This colorful procession is to honor the work horse and livestock.  I know your thinking another event to celebrate the cows?  But of course. Why not.  They certainly deserve it.   This centuries old farming tradition gives thanks to the patron saint of livestock,  St. Leonhard, with a blessing by the church.

When I first moved Schliersee this was the one event of the year everyone was talking about.  You can imagine my excitement when I started to see these ancient wagons being rolled out of barns all over the area and the decorating beginning.  I felt like a kid on Christmas morning and this event did not disappoint.  From the incredibly detailed local costumes to the polished to perfection, colorful livery and the endless stream of proud and prancing horses.  This is one event you can’t miss.

After all the carriages arrive and are lined up to make their passage past the ceremonially dressed priests and receive their blessing everyone parks their wagons in the field behind the chapel.  This is a great opportunity to get a close look at all the beautiful details that goes into each carriage.  There is a small church service held outside with the beautiful backdrop of our local mountains.  Some folks gather in the small baroque chapel, another site not to be missed, and say their prayers in the smokey Frankincense scented interior.

For my friends and family, we like to head over to the Wasmeier museum for a beer and a meal afterwards.

The event begins at 9 am on 6 November 2016 at the Leonhardi Chapel in Fischhausen.  This chapel is located on B307 just passed the lake in Schliersee and before you reach the train station in Neuhaus.  This road will be blocked on the day so arriving early or taking the BOB train is recommended.

If you would like more information about Leonhardifahrt, please click the link provided: http://www.schliersee.de/sommer/kultur-lebensart/tradition/#c1471

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).