The holiday Ratcatcher’s Day is celebrated on July 22nd, and it’s quite the unique little holiday that our world has. Ratcatcher’s Day gets its name from the story of the myth and tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, who was known as the Rat-Catcher of Hamelin. Hamelin is a town in Germany, which is where the legend originated during the Middle Ages. The Pied Piper has now turned into a more modern-day children’s tale or poem, but it is actually quite the gruesome story that makes this day quite interesting.
Who Is The Pied Piper?
The Pied Piper is from the children’s tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning but has been traveled around by word of mouth for centuries, it seems. This famous legend has a rich history to it, with how it has stayed around since the middle ages and has become a universal story for all kids. The story all starts in the town of Hamelin in 1284 when the town was suffering from a rat infestation. The Pied Piper had talked to the mayor of Hamelin and told him he was a rat-catcher, hence where the name for the holiday comes from.
More Than One Pied Piper?
The Pied Piper had gotten his name due to his instrumental pipe and multi-colored (pied) clothes. And it is said that the Pied Piper had used his pipe to play a little tune to lure all the rats in Hamelin to the Weser River. Which is located in Lower Saxony, North-West Germany, where all the rats are told to have drowned. He had successfully cleared all of Hamelin from the terrifying infestation of these rats. What is most interesting about this story is that this is just one version of it. There are countless versions of this famous rat-catcher, and some of them don’t even involve rats! Some are told of the Pied Piper having taken the children of Hamelin to a beautiful land to look at wonderful scenery.
Depending on where you grew up and what version was told to you, you might have been familiar with the unique holiday of the rat-catcher. You also might have never heard such a story of the Pied Piper and had no idea he had been known as the rat-catcher of Hamelin. But now you know that July 22nd is, in fact, the Ratcatchers Day in honor of the iconic Pied Piper!
For more literary-related history, click here.