Plenty of weird characters wearing masks, fur, rugs, and other unusual garments use horsewhips to scare winter and the evil spirits out of Agnita. The masked performers are accompanied by a multitude of craftsmen including blacksmiths, tailors, fur trappers, shoemakers, and carpenters. This tradition was established back in the 17th century by Transylvanian Saxons. The legend says that during one of the Turks' offensives when a few men were about to surrender out of despair, a young but courageous lady named Ursula, whose father was a fur trapper, put on animal furs, a scary mask, and some bells and took a horsewhip and unexpectedly jumped out in front of the enemies producing frightful sounds. The invaders got scared and took the disguised girl for the devil himself and fled. Today every year by the end of January Agnita bursts into the celebration of the "lole," the word borrowed from the German "lallen" meaning babble or mumble—these sounds may be heard from behind the masks.
January 27, 2019
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