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Autumn snippets

A term commonly used in southern Germany to describe a person in the role of a jester at the festival at the end of the grape harvest (autumn). However, Alsace is considered to be the home of this old custom in imitation of the medieval court jester. For the role, a somewhat clumsy person was chosen from the flock of harvest helpers, whose body and face was smeared with dark grape juice or soot. He became the target of ridicule and jokes from the whole of society. The Herbstschmüerel, for his part, endeavoured to blacken (or "schmüerel" is derived from the word "schmüerel") all those who were found on the train on the way. Sometimes he was enthroned on a barrel with clothes on backwards. Locally differently he was also called "Bacches" or "Bachele", which meant "little Bacchus". Another fun part of the grape harvest festival was the autumn decorations. The two of them could also perform together. See also other old customs under Customs in viticulture.

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