WHEN NAZ RULES
Every five years it is Naz’s turn to call the shots. As soon
has he comes to power on Epiphany, the mayor and local
council of Telfs loose all authority. 2020 is a Schleicherlaufen
year and the locals are beyond thrilled.
Hans Sterzinger is head of the Schleicher group. For him and the other members of Telfs’ 14 Shrovetide clubs
the Schleicherlaufen parade is an essential part of their life. The Schleicherlaufen is a century-old tradition that
blends culture, pride and enthusiasm into a joyful event. “The evening prior to carnival people were allowed to have
fun one last time“, Sterzinger explains the history behind the custom. And things haven’t changed much since 1571.
“Telfs is still going toally nuts about the Schleicherlaufen“, Sterzinger laughs. In the old days the church was
less than thrilled with the boisterous goings-on and encouraged the revelers to come to Mass. But the people of
Telfs had other plans: they celebrated and partied come hell or high water. “However, death and afterlife do play
an important role in Telfs’ Shrovetide celebrations. This can be seen during the last circle of the Schleicher at the
graveyard wall or the commemoration of the dead before the Shrovetide Ball.“ Naz is unearthed on January 6. He is
something like a hero and saint of the Laninger, freedom loving “underdogs” who fight against the establishment.
In real life, Naz is a doll dressed in blue. No one except the leader of the Laninger knows where he is kept outside
carnival times. If Naz were lost this would be the end of the century-old Schleicherlaufen parade and the many events surrounding it.
The spectacle attracts thousands of spectators. Each carnival group rents space to celebrate and all of Telfs
is joining in the madness. The activities are on the rowdy side and marked by readiness for action. There are characters
wearing wooden masks, bizarre creatures, and costumes made from tree moss that gets eaten with a
sprinkle of salt. One of the more outlandish characters is the “Panznaffe‘, who sits inside a large barrel and sacrifices
his canines to get his tongue to stick out more. The bears and other “exotic” creatures show off their impressive
acrobatic skills, and the Schleicher, one of which is Hans Sterzinger, wow the audience with their incredible
FAREWELL TO NAZ
“With the end of carnival, the groups cease to exist, and Naz gets buried on Shrove Tuesday”, explains Hans Sterzinger.
The men of Telfs stand by the grave and cry bitter tears of farewell. And five years later, Naz gets unearthed
and the whole madness starts anew.
Untermarktstraße 20, A-6410 Telfs
Tel. +43 (0) 5262 627 09 20
Thursday + Saturday: from 9 am to 12 noon
Friday: from 5 pm to 8 pm