petrusplancius (petrusplancius) wrote,

Solution to the puzzle

The conclusion has already been reached that the contraption is a kind of rattle, and it is fact a 'Good Friday rattle' (Karfreitagsratsche) that is used in some parts of the German world rather than church bells during the last week of Lent, coming up to Easter. It seems that they are not used from a fixed position, but people pass through the streets with them, carrying a big one on a cord around their neck, or children in particular carrying small ones in their hand, but I have no direct knowledge of the matter. I came across the term in a historical context, in realtion to a feud that was started when someone compared an Austrian official's wife to a Karfreitagsratsche, with the implication that she was a malicious gossip.

Some videos (in German, but they show what it's all about if you don't speak the language). People making a big 'un:
Here children are taking quite a big one around on a bicycle cart:
Walking around with one big one and other smaller ones:

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