Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Christmas caroling in Heiligenblut

Applicant: Obmann Hans Schacher i.V. Rotte Hof Heiligenbluter Sternsinger
Province: Carinthia
Domain: Performing arts
Year of inclusion: 2010

The 16th century tradition of Christmas caroling in Heiligenblut (Carinthia) has been kept alive until today mostly in its original form. The star song (“Sternlied”) or the blessing of houses using the “CMB” saying (“Christus Mansionem Benedicat” – May Christ bless this house) which is written in chalk over the front door, are still fundamental elements of this tradition.

Commitment to and identification with this custom is firmly rooted in the population.
All local employers exempt their employees from work to go carol singing.

Even though the tradition of Christmas caroling in Heiligenblut has undergone little to no significant change in the last centuries, there are initiatives to adapt this custom to the needs of today’s world. For instance, the Christmas caroling has been promoted to tourists and visitors who come to Heiligenblut especially to watch and be part of this tradition.