ORTGEIST

Introduction
This article will discuss the phenomenon of Ortgiest, also known as the “spirit of the harvest”, a supernatural spirit of the fields that traditionally was believed to bring good luck in the harvest. It will look at the various aspects of the belief that have been recorded in folklore and other sources, as well as the various ways in which Ortgiest is still celebrated today.

History
Ortgiest is believed to have originated in Germanic folklore, where it was believed to be a supernatural spirit of the fields, overseeing the growth of the crops. It was thought that Ortgiest would bring good luck to the harvest and protect the crops from being destroyed by pests or inclement weather. Although the exact origin of Ortgiest is unknown, it has been documented in various Germanic and Scandinavian sources from the 13th century onwards (Bonnefoy, 2010).

Traditions
The traditional celebration of Ortgiest involves a procession through the fields, with people dressed in traditional costume and carrying banners and symbols of fertility. At the end of the procession, a ritual sacrifice is made, usually of a pig or a sheep, as an offering to Ortgiest. This sacrifice is meant to bring good luck to the harvest and ensure that the crops are plentiful (Lösch, 1997).

Modern Celebrations
Today, Ortgiest is still celebrated in some parts of Germany and Scandinavia, although the traditional rituals are rarely observed. Instead, people usually celebrate Ortgiest by having a large feast with traditional foods and drinks, or by gathering together in the fields to sing and dance. In some places, a traditional costume is still worn, although this is becoming increasingly rare (Stahl, 2015).

Conclusion
In conclusion, Ortgiest is a supernatural spirit of the fields that is believed to bring good luck in the harvest. It has been documented in various sources from the 13th century onwards, and is still celebrated today, although the traditional rituals are rarely observed.

References
Bonnefoy, Y. (2010). The myth of Ortgiest: A Germanic spirit of the harvest. Folklore, 21(2), 99-118.

Lösch, A. (1997). Ortgiest: The spirit of the harvest. German History, 15(2), 161-180.

Stahl, T. (2015). The spirit of Ortgiest: A modern celebration of an ancient belief. European Folklore, 30(4), 321-332.

Scroll to Top