Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Christmas caroling in Tyrol´s Villgraten Valley (Inner and Outer Villgraten)

Applicant: MMag. Robert Schmidhofer, Hermann Lanser
Province: Tyrol
Domain: Performing arts
Year of inclusion: 2010

Every year between Christmas and the Epiphany, the traditional Christmas caroling takes places in the Tyrolian Villgraten Valley. For two days, two groups wander from house to house to sing traditional New Year’s carols.

Christmas caroling is organized by the Men’s Choral Society in Außervillgraten and the church choir of Innervillgraten. The carol singers are mostly members of these associations, which are rarely subject to change. Only very few rehearsals are needed before singing the carols and at most one new song per year is added. Some of the songs have remained in the repertoire for decades. Thus, the carol singers are conscious which songs sound best in which houses. The singers are frequently invited for a drink or lunch after their performances.