Folk Traditions

Prangstangen

Beautiful floral decorations - on June 24th in Zederhaus and June 29th in Muhr.

Prangstangen parades in the villages of Zederhaus and Muhr im Lungau look back on a long tradition. For a whole week long, poles as much as 12 meters high and weighing up to 80 kg are adorned with flowers. Then, on the big day - known as "Prangtag" - they are borne through town in a procession. Afterwards, they can still be admired in the church until Assumption Day (August 15th). The whole village lends a hand in preparing and creating the wonderful flower decorations:

As many as 50,000 flowers (daisies, gentian, peonies, blue bonnets) are collected and woven into floral garlands. The actual parade of these giant poles goes back to an oath once taken by the village: it was believed that, if the villagers of old carried these poles through the village and across the fields, they would be spared from any further locust plagues.

Kasmandl

In the summer months, the legendary "Kasmandl" - little dwarf-like figures - live high up in the mountains and peaks of the Lungau. But in autumn, as the snow, ice and cold move into the mountains, the Kasmandl come out of their hiding places and look for winter lodgings for the period from Martinmas (11.11.) to St. George's Day (23.4.) - in those temporarily abandoned mountain huts. Which means, the farmer has no choice but to drive his animals down from the high grazing grounds by no later than the day before Martinmas.

During the summer, the kasmandl protect the cattle and the people tending to them. Nowadays, the children go from house to house, recite poems, sing autumn folk songs and share servings of delicious Rahmkoch, Rahmkas and Schnuraus.
  

"Ratschen"

"Ratschen" (making a loud rattling noise with a wooden instrument) replaces the sound of bells from Maundy Thursday mass until Easter night ("The bells fly to Rome and don't return until Easter") . The acolytes at St. Michael's parish church use these rattles to call people to mass on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
  

Coloring Easter eggs on Maundy Thursday

A special kind of Easter nest

No doubt every parent has their own special secret for creating a perfect dyed egg!

These golden Easter eggs were colored with dye made from onion peel. The eggs are wrapped in a cotton cloth. Then simply make an impression of spring flowers such as coltsfoot and crocus, or bishopsweed, chervil and strawberry leaves to create small works of art. And to add additional gloss, use some good-old bacon rind. Happy Easter!

Easter Bonfires

In the night from Easter Saturday to Easter Sunday, Easter bonfires are lit up in many towns. Burning down bonfires is an old tradition. At Easter, people gather at nightfall to ignite the fires. This custom was even known back in the days of the ancient Germanic tribes. The fire was intended to drive out the winter, as well as evil witches and spirits.
  

Krampus

Wrapped up in a shaggy fur and carrying a powerful rod in his hand, Krampus resembles some kind of terrifying monster. It's the time of year again for some fiendish goings-on. Nowadays, countless young people are reviving this 500-year-old tradition once more, with Krampus processions becoming more and more elaborate over time: including specially constructed floats, loud music and fires.

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