REGION: Europe
COUNTRY: Austria
VALUE: 6 shillings

This stamp, issued by the Austrian government in 1996, celebrates the country’s “folk customs and folkloric treasures.” This specific stamp depicts the Tyrolean masked tradition of Schemenlaufen in Imst. The Schemenlaufen is a Carnival parade in which the main characters parade in pairs (as in the stamp), one man wearing rotating bells (on the right) and another wearing larger bells weighing up to 35 kg (on the left). Together, they perform a special dance of jumps and bows, with the bells producing a mix of high and low tones. A total of fifty-five such couples participate, with a number of other masked characters imitating them.