Europe

Bavarian riders take horses to church in Easter parade

  • Local residents dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes ride during the traditional Georgi (St. George) horse riding procession on Easter Monday, March 28, 2016 in Traunstein, southern Germany. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)

    Local residents dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes ride during the traditional Georgi (St. George) horse riding procession on Easter Monday, March 28, 2016 in Traunstein, southern Germany. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Local residents dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes ride during the traditional Georgi (St. George) horse riding procession on Easter Monday, March 28, 2016 in Traunstein, southern Germany. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)

    Local residents dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes ride during the traditional Georgi (St. George) horse riding procession on Easter Monday, March 28, 2016 in Traunstein, southern Germany. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of riders in southeastern Germany have taken part in a traditional Easter Monday procession, taking their horses to a church to receive blessings.

The Bavarian town of Traunstein's horseback Georgiritt parade dates back to at least the 18th century. Some 400 horses, led by riders in traditional local costume, process to a church in nearby Ettendorf where both riders and animals are blessed.

Along with the procession, the town in Germany's southeastern corner also stages a saber dance that is meant to symbolize the victory of spring over winter. Riders were greeted by bright sunshine on Monday after braving snow during last year's parade.