It isn’t long ago that there was no other form of transport so farmers in Allgau, Bavaria, used to wait for the first snows and use sleds to bring hay and wood down from the mountains where they had cut and stored it at their Almen, summer pastures. Heu und Brennholz for ‘Stall und Ofen’, barn and stove, during the winter months.

Making four journeys a day they would drag the sleds, which weighed about 50 kg, 110 pounds, up mountains, load them and then slide back down to the valley, without the help of either brakes or steering.

These runs were not without their dangers, often resulting in broken bones and damaged sleds, so after each series of descents was successfully completed it was followed by a real celebration, with Gluehwein, beer, traditional food and music.

Now what was once a necessity has become a Faschingstradition on Carnival Saturday, Faschingssamstag, riding Hoernerschlitten that have sled runners shaped like curved horns.

Usually self-built to the original plans, the sleds are loaded just as they used to be and can reach 100 km, 60+ mph, but not only the fastest also the slowest, and those who perhaps crashed on the way down, receive a trophy.

The photo is an original Schalenggen Rennen and is via kappelar-schalenggar.de/bildergalerie

2014-Francine This post is shared courtesy of 
BellaOnline’s¬†German Culture¬†Editor