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Batch CCXXXI. Schwarzwald, Sunday August 20, 2017 NO. 47
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The Butzenzuttel of Hirrlingen

Butz, Butz Dollia, hot an alta Doffel an!

According to early records, Carnival in Hirrlingen (a community in the Tübingen district of Baden-Württemberg) begins on Candlemas. This holiday, which falls 40 days after Christmas, on February 2, is considered auspicious for cleaning and is therefore the day when Christmas trees are traditionally removed from churches and the manger is packed away for another year. The first documented mention of masked antics taking place on this day dates back to the early 19th century. The main figures are the Butz (male) and the Butzenzuttel (female) – both of whom wear a black skirt around their hips and a black and red plaid scarf around their shoulders with a mask carved of basswood and a crown of pine boughs. The origins of this costume are easily explained: The mask was carved by the costume wearer or with the help of an experienced craftsman and old skirts and scarves could be found in every home. In order preserve the Butz and its associated traditions, the guild of Butzes was founded in 1962 and the Butzenzuttel was introduced, which opened up Carnival in Hirrlingen to women and girls.

The original Butzes of Hirrlingen run wildly through the streets cracking their whips and assailing residents, who flee from the costumed creatures with a loud “Butz, Butz Dollia, hot an alta Doffel an!” Moving from one tavern to the next, the fools also catch up on all of the village gossip.

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