"Saint Thomas bellringing in Katlijk" Katlijk by ATLC
Katlijk Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 12 photos
Next Saturday (Dec. 28th 2002) I'll be in Katlijk with the Brielle Bell Ringers Guild to meet our fellow bell ringers in Katlijk, province Friesland.
In the period 21-31 december an unusual folklore tradition takes place, the socalled Saint Thomas bell ringing. This used to be a popular tradition in large parts of the province Friesland but is now only done in two villages: Katlijk and Oudehorne.
Saint Thomas bell ringing was meant to excorcise evil spirits at the end of the year. The nameday of Saint Thomas is 21 december, and this century old tradition starts on this day. The bells of a belfry are rung rhythmically. Many Frisian churches have a separate belfry near the church or on the graveyard. A church tower that would hold bells, was usually too heave to build on the peat ground so a lighter alternative had to be found, that was also cheaper. Thus belfrys arose with 1,2 or 3 bells.
The belfrys of Katlijk and Oudehorne each have two bells, a larger and a smaller. The objective is to ring them together rhythmically and this heavy job is usually done by two bellringers at a time.
This year, as said, the bellringers from Brielle will assist the Katlijker bellringers.
The Katlijker bellringers will be dressed in oldfashioned costume. Sometimes there is snow or mist which gives the event a special atmosphere.
The event is usually visited by a lot of people who drink hot chocolate, or Glühwein, eat "oliebollen" while enjoying the bell ringing sounds and spectacle.
There is an art exposition in the nearby 16th century church and local produce and art are on sale.
From the Katlijk website:
Everyone who has visited the old church of Katlijk, will be impressed by the simple beauty of the building. The historical appearance, the primeval architecture and the materials used, give the church a nostalgic character. Moreover, the church is idylically situated among the woods of Katlijk.
No wonder that there are many activities besides the service. The church is not only an excellent place for ecclesiastic consecration of marriage, celebration and meetings of reflection, but also for concerts and exhibitions.
The secretary of the Brielle Bell ringers being interviewed. more travel advice
There was quite a bit of press attention as this century old custom was coming along. Especially since we as Brielle... more travel advice
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