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Barrel Makers' dance

The Barrel Makers' dance, or
The Barrel Makers' dance, or "Schäfflertanz" - ganzmuenchen.de

The legend goes that the Barrel Makers danced through Munich to give residents the all-clear that the plague (1517) was done and dusted. Since then, the tradition expanded to numerous other locations in Bavaria, only once every 7 years.

About 20 men accomplish traditional dance steps, holding box tires. Two „Kasper“ (clowns) will lovingly caress the cheeks of some members of the audience, especially young female bystanders, thereby smearing them with grime. The „Vortänzer“ (first dancer) has the honourable task to stand atop a beer barrel and to juggle with two barrel tires with a full glass of Schnaps in them: not one drop must be lost! Some groups of dancers offer more than 20 performances a day in the six weeks of the event (between Twelfth-Night and Mardi-Gras).

At the beginnings only unwed Barrel maker companions of the best reputation were allowed to perform the dance. Nowadays men outside the corporation as well as married men are allowed to dance, in order to maintain the tradition. Their outfit comprises a bright red pourpoint, black knee-high trousers, white socks, a green bonnet and a leather apron.

Munich Barrel Makers' Corporation: www.schaefflertanz.com/
Watch a performance: