Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

“Liebstatt” Sunday in Gmunden

Applicant: Trachtenverein „Traunseer“ Gmunden, Obmann Franz Wolfsgruber
Province: Upper Austria
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2014

The origin of this tradition is viewed to lie with the Corpus Christi Brotherhood, which was reestablished in Gmunden in 1641, existed into the 18th century, and had as its mission the enrichment of the town’s religious life. Once each year, on the fourth Sunday in Lent, this brotherhood held a gathering at which a vow to be loyal to the faith and to brotherly love, called the “Liab’státt’n” (confirmation of love), was renewed. Over the course of time, this transformed into a demonstration of love. Today, the “Liebstattsonntag” in Gmunden is still held every year on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Gmunden’s traditional costume associations meet at 9:00 a.m. and proceed as a group to the town parish church. After this, a parade forms with its own band and marches to the square in front of the town hall. Following a brief greeting and an explanation of the tradition, the associations’ members give gifts of decorated gingerbread hearts to the townspeople and guests.