Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Traunkirchner Mordsgschicht – carnival singing in Traunkirchen

Applicant: Traunkirchner Mordsgschicht
Province: Upper Austria
Domain: Performing arts
Year of inclusion: 2014

The oldest written record of the Traunkirchner Mordsgschicht (Traunkirchen’s “murderously funny story”) is from 1912, although according to first-hand accounts by individuals living back then, this tradition actually goes back further. It is a narrative musical performance in the style of a “Moritat,” a form of cantastoria or bench song. Today, this tradition – originally practiced throughout the Salzkammergut region – can be found in this form only in Traunkirchen. On the final Sunday before Lent, the singers parade from inn to inn wearing top hats and tailcoats to present humorous moments from the village’s past year. The performers only accept food and drink or a meal together with the hosts as payment.