Meltdown, The Alps Under Pressure, National Geographic Magazine: Pagan Traditions In The Alps

Two men in green moss costumes stand in front of mountain in the snow

Donning grotesque masks and costumed suits made from lichen, a father and son leave for the parade of the Wild Ones. They are part of an ancient tradition held in Tyrol of Austria since 1571. The ritual begins when men prepare for the celebration by gathering moss in the woods that is sewn onto clothing by women. This father and son are dressed for the parade of the “Wilde.” The Pagan, end-of-winter festival known as Schleicherlaufen is held in Telfs every five years and attended by as many of 20,000 spectators.

The photograph was published in National Geographic magazine in the article, Meltdown: The Alps Under Pressure.”

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