Das Midwinterhoorn – eine entfernte Verwandte des Türmerhorns

Im östlichen Teil der Niederlande, im Gebiet von Twente, wird noch die schöne alte Tradition des Midwinterhoorn-Blasens gepflegt.

In the eastern part of the Netherlands, territory of Twente, here and there people still keep alive the old custom of blowing the midwinter horn.

In Twente wordt nog steeds geblazen op de midwinterhoorn, een levende traditie.


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Hello, this is the police. Are you on the tower?

(I dedicate this story to my English speaking friends all over the world and to my aunt Pat from Canada.)

I will never forget the night when around 11 pm the usually sleeping telephone on the window sill began ringing out of the blue. I almost dropped my cup of tea.

I said: Hello, this is St. Lambert’s Tower, Martje Saljé, towerkeeper speaking.

A male voice: Hello, this is the police. Are you on the tower?

(Well – I briefly considered telling him no, sir, I’m at Stuhlmacher’s Saloon, boozed and busy, please hold the line – but then my good education carried off.)

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Jingle Bells in the Spring of 2015

Not „Jingle Bells“ in terms of „Winter Wonderland“, but „Jingle Bells“ in terms of music and, well, bells –

what I’m saying is: I’m really into music, as some of you might know. And, working on a church tower, just above the 8 bells, I am fond of that wonderful sound, and really into history and the deeper meaning of everything that surrounds me.

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Welcome to MS!

This goes out to all the readers in the non-German speaking areas of this little place called earth: no matter where you are or who you are, I appreciate the fact that you take your time and visit me virtually and read my words! Please consider paying my new hometown (home is where the heart is!) a real physically visit, too!

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The Art Of Tooting – a short journey into symbolism and numbers…

Every night (except tuesday) the Tuermerin von Muenster keeps guard from St. Lambert’s church.
From 8:45pm until 12:15am she stands watching on top of the neo-gothic tower as the city falls asleep.
She blows a huge horn every half hour from 9pm til midnight – long signals signify „everything’s alright, no fires a-burning, no foes at the imaginary gates“; short stopped signals mean „watch out! something strange and foul is going on within the inner city!“…

The signals are just like the bells of the churches (there are over 80 nearby churches from where I blog!) – at 9 o’clock, the Tooting goes:

„tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot“.

As one can see clearly by this example, we have (3 x 3) signals and there are pauses. Why?
Let’s see how the Tooting will sound at 10pm.

„tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause ) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot, tooooot“

Okay, here we have (2 x 3) PLUS (1 x 4) „tooooot“. Let’s keep that in mind and move over to 11pm.
At 11pm the Tooting sounds like this:

„tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot“

Got it? (3 x 3) PLUS (1 x 2) – and what about 12pm?

You figured that one out already, didn’t you? It’s like

„tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot (pause) tooooot, tooooot, tooooot“

(4 x 3) !

This is mathematics, this is mystery, this is cool !!!

The main number of Tootings is the „3“ – just think of the Holy Trinity and the theological virtues (Faith, Hope, Love)…!

The „2“ stands for Duality, Finitude, Contrariness (see Gen 1,1 in the Holy Bible – it starts with the second letter B – Bereschith; the relation between Egypt and The Land of Canaan… just look it up on your favourite SearchEngine!)…

And the meaning of the „4“: e.g. the fourth letter of the Hebrews is „Daleth“, the „door“ to the world or to heaven; the four original sins (The Fall of Man, Fratricide, The Flood, The Tower of Babel)…

Okay folks, and now something very mundane: One has to breathe whilst blowing the horn! 2 Tootings are easy, 3 ooookay, 4 dang! any longer and the Tuermerin might feel somewhat giddy 😀

Oh – and before I forget about the „half hour“-fact:
Every half hour the church bells go „DONG DONG“ – (2 x DONG) – because two quarters of the full hour have just elapsed… and the Tooting embraces that point with „toooot, toooot“.

Any more questions? No? Come on over some time and hear the Tooting going on at the foot of St. Lambert’s church in the center of the city of Muenster! You’ll love it just like I do! And if you drop me a line that you’re going to visit my town – I’m gonna toooooot even more beautiful and harmonious! Word!