Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

´The The Vineyard Guards´ Procession in Perchtoldsdorf

Applicant: Christian Neumayer i.V. für die Weinhüter; Franz Distl i.V. für den Weinbauverein der Marktgemeinde Perchtoldsdorf
Province: Lower Austria
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2010

The Vineyard Guards´ Procession has remained a constant element of the Perchtoldsdorfer wine growers’ annual traditions, even though the profession of guardian became obsolete and died out in the 1970s.

In the past, vineyard guards were considered to be a routine in wine-growing regions during the harvest. They took an oath and were paid by the community, and had to spend several weeks in small huts in the respective vineyards to protect the ripening crop from animals and thieves. Peasants were the most typical guardians and the job helped them to earn a little more money and be a bit better off. Now that being a guardian is no longer a profession, it is mostly the sons of wine growers of the age of 15 who serve as guardians during the procession.