The ancient custom of mid-winter hornblowing which is followed only in the Twenty district of the Netherlands and in the Munster Region of West Germany.
The ancient custom of mid-winter hornblowing which is followed only in the Twenty district of the Netherlands and in the Munster Region of West Germany. It dates back many centuries, and originally served the purpose of driving away the civil spirits of the dark days of winter.
Hornblowing starts every year on the 28th November - the first Sunday of Advent -- and ends on January 6th, Twelfth Night. It's customary for the pipes to be blown -- giving out their special tune -- in the region of a water well.
The pipes, which are 7-feet long (1.9-metres), are made from alder wood with a skill handed down from father to son.
It takes about 20-hours of patient craftsmanship to make a pipe. While now they are merely blown to keep the delightful old custom alive, in the past they were used as a means of communication from one part of the country to another.