Last weekend was Turamichele in Augsburg, Germany. This is a local tradition celebrated every year around the day of Saint Michael.
Originally it was only the showing of the mechanical figures of St. Michael and the devil fighting against each other. This fight is shown every full hour and St. Michael will stab the devil according to the hour, i.e. at noon the devil would receive 12 stabs. History books first mention this play around the 16th century and except for two short interruptions in the 19th and 20th century (due to political disturbances and WW II) it has been held ever since.
Nowadays it’s is a huge local celebration attracking visitors from all over the South of Germany. It is now not only celebrated on St. Michael’s day but also on the weekend around the day. There is a small fair held on the Rathausplatz, next to the Perlach Tower where the fight takes place.
One other tradition that was introduced after WW II is the ballon competition. After watching St. Michael defeating the devil all kids let ballons filled with gas fly into the air. These ballons normally have the colours of Augsburg red, green and white. Attached to each ballon is a postcard with the address of the kid. The ballon which flies the farthest and whose postcard is sent back wins a small prize.
I went there last weekend with my younger cousins. It was a lot of fun. We watched the play three times, had ballons flying and climbed the Perlach Tower where we enjoyed a great view of the surrounding landscape of Augsburg. On good days we would have been able to see even the Alps.
I have uploaded some photos on flickr.com. I’m sorry about the bad quality, but I’m just starting with photographing so I guess I still have to learn a lot. I hope you like the photos. You’ll find them here: