Horned creatures scare away evil spirits in parade in Austria

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Horned, anthropomorphic figures known in the Alpine regions as 'Perchten' marched through the streets of Salzburg on Sunday. After crossing the city pursuing bystanders, the Perchtens headed to a stage where they performed traditional pagan dances. Horned-masks and costumes are displayed in processions called 'Perchtenlauf' during the last week of December and first week of January. Perchten are associated with midwinter and the embodiment of fate and the souls of the dead. According to the traditions, if a Perchten touches a woman with his hair, she might expect a baby in the next year.