Blowing the Midwinter Horn

Blowing the Midwinter Horn

December-January; beginning of Advent through Sunday after Epiphany
The custom of Midwinterhoorn Blazen in the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago. The local farmers make their winter horns out of pieces of curved birch wood. The horns are about 45 inches long and when soaked in water, they produce a piercing wail that carries for miles over the frozen countryside. Although in pagan times the blowing of the horns was thought to rid the earth of evil spirits, today the horns announce the coming of Christ.
In Oldenzaal, a special melody composed by the area's champion hornblower is played from the four corners of the local church tower, beginning at dawn on Advent Eve and continuing until Three Kings' Day ( Epiphany).
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, Dec 15
FestWestEur-1958, p. 143