Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Anklöpfeln (knocking on doors) in the Tyrolean Unterland

Applicant: Joch Weißbacher i. V. Oberauer Anklöpfler
Province: Tyrol
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2011

„Anklöpfeln“ (dialect for “to knock”) is a practice cultivated in the Tyrolean lower Inn valley. Here, a group of mostly male singers dress up as shepherds and visit the neighbouring houses on the three Thursdays before Christmas (“knocking nights”). The singers are invited into the homes and strike up several songs to herald the Christmas message of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Often, these singers are accompanied by instrumentalists. As a way of thanking the singers, they are given a minimum of one drink, some Christmas biscuits or a snack. Sometimes money is given as well, which is collected by the society of "knockers" and spent on charity.