from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
St. Nikolaus, Nikoloweibl and Buttnmandl in Loipl .

The Butt Mandl run or the Butt Mandl running ( bairisch : buttn rattle =, jogging) is a Advent to the "pure" parallel Kramperläufen exercised contemplation custom , exclusively in Berchtesgaden and in the five municipalities of the southern region of Berchtesgaden county land is cultivated.

A group of Buttnmandl, usually led by Nikolaus , and Gankerl protecting them are popularly referred to as "Bass". In Loipl and Schönau the basses are also supplemented by a "Nikoloweibl" or, as in Winkl, only by an "Engerl".

The Buttnmandl and Kramperlbassen usually leave the Berchtesgadener Land on December 5th and 6th. The only exceptions are the Bassen in the Bischofswiesenern Gnotschaften or districts Loipl (first Sunday in Advent) and Winkl (second Sunday in Advent) and in the Berchtesgaden district of Maria Gern on December 24th.

History of the custom


This custom was originally practiced to drive out the winter on the three holy Rauhnächten (December 24th and 31st and January 5th) and thus resembles the origin of the Salzburg-Upper Austrian custom of the Glöckler , who in turn belong to the Schönperchten . In the course of Christianization, first banned as pagan , these customs were combined with the retreat of St. Nicholas and gradually moved to Advent in the Berchtesgadener Land as the core area of ​​the Berchtesgaden prince-provost from around 1730. Up until the 1950s, it was common practice in almost all of Berchtesgadener Land to maintain this retreat on Christmas Eve .

Buttnmandl in the Berchtesgaden market area

In the market area of Berchtesgaden from the Second World War until the beginning of the 1960s, only basses with three Kramperln and a Santa Claus were allowed to appear . In 1963 a Bundeswehr Buttnmandl bass from the Jägerkaserne in Strub visited the market for the first time . Following on from this, the traditional costume clubs "D'Untersberger Stamm" and "D'Almrauscher" also founded a Buttnmandl-Bass, which has been gathering at the "Rosenhof" since 1965, and then from the Meierhof, which was once prince provostal in the Berchtesgaden district of Anzenbach , as " Rosenhofer Buttnmandl ”on the market.

Further Berchtesgadener Buttnmandl and Kramperl basses are u. a .: Moakterer Bass , Weinfelder Buttnmandl , Ganghofer Buttnmandl , Guin Bass , Kälberstoana Buttmandl and the Weissei Bass . In 2015 they saw themselves in a field of tension “between tradition and commerce”. The popular custom has gradually turned into an "event" or a commercial show that sometimes even had life-threatening aspects when the basses were sometimes "surrounded" by "crowds". Whereas in earlier times the often drunk basses had to be certified as having an excess of raw behavior, today it is the visitors who “no longer have any respect for the basses” and have even inflicted serious injuries on some of them.

Appearance and duties


Buttnmandl are men wrapped in long, threshed straw, wear heavy cowbells that are tied around their hips and so-called larvae (fur or wooden masks) with horns, overlong teeth and protruding tongues. Three people have to help with putting on and taking off the straw clothing. The rods carried by the Buttnmandl can feel the legs of many with one blow. Their favorite victims for a prank are young girls, as the rods are supposedly also a symbol of fertility. The Buttnmandln have to be constantly in motion so that the ringing of their bells can be heard constantly.


The Gankerl (or also: Ganggerl ) are devil figures corresponding to the Krampussen , but in contrast to the "Kramperln" they wear the lightest possible fur on the upper body and a fur larva, while their legs usually have little fur or only light (stocking- ) Pants are dressed. Even the best bass runners usually only wear a few and smaller bells. Their main task is to keep the Buttnmandln together and to ensure their safety, since the men in straw are relatively immobile. The agile Gankerl run in the Berchtesgadener Land near Buttenmandl- and Kramperlbassen. And should Buttnmandl and Kramperl be "kicked" by young people ( dialect for: irritated, annoyed), then it is usually they who take up the chase in order to ensure that they are rubbed off in the snow or at least a few strokes of the rod on the legs.

Rituals of the Buttnmandlbassen

Recording in a bass

Only men over 16 years of age who have never been married are allowed to actively participate in this custom, women are traditionally excluded from it - with the exception of the occasional (co-) leading "angels". Even the "Nikoloweibl" are boys dressed in girls' costume.

Prayers before moving out

Before they move out to the respective congregation, all the basses pray a Our Father , an Ave Maria and occasionally an Angel of the Lord for the deceased at their meeting place , then they are blessed with holy water by the farmer's wife .

Retreat in the houses

The Buttnmandllauf, like the Kramperllauf, is not least a stop-off practice : with loud bells and wild shouts, the Buttnmandlbassen go from house to house and visit the families gathered there. Greeted by a praised be Jesus Christ and sprinkled with holy water by the host, the actor of St. Nikolaus and one or two of the Buttnmandl members of the living room. After hitting the crook three times, he puts a stop and admonishes the Buttnmandl to rest. Nicholas now also greets the families with a “Praise be to Jesus Christ” and immediately begins to list things worthy of praise and reproach. The children sing songs or recite prayers and poems in the hope that they will put St. As a reward, they receive gifts (previously traditionally limited to apples, nuts, Guatln and Kletzenbrot ), and the “naughty” older youths (especially the teenage girls) are dragged out of the room and thrown into the snow. After this spectacle, the Bass moves on to the next house.

Literature and Sources

Individual evidence

  1. Jörg Tessnow: For 50 years in the service of children , article in the Berchtesgadener Anzeiger from December 5, 2015 (for the whole paragraph), online at berchtesgadener-anzeiger.de
  2. Ulli Kastner: Kramperl between customs and commerce , article in the Berchtesgadener Anzeiger of November 28, 2015 (for the entire paragraph), online at berchtesgadener-anzeiger.de
  3. The Berchtesgadener Buttnmandl , YouTube contribution by the Sankt Michaelsbund to a Buttnmandl run in Loipl , which u. a. the putting on of straw clothing, the prayer in the church and the retreat in a house are documented online at youtube.com
  4. a b Buttnmandl Laufen in Bischofwiesen and Berchtesgaden , information and several photos, online at bischofswiesen.de