Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

"Perchten" in Gastein

Applicant: Andreas Mühlberger i.V. Verein Gasteiner Perchten
Province: Salzburg
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2011

The tradition of the „Perchten“ in Gastein takes us back in time to the historic “carnival runs” during the Renaissance and the Rococo. The “Perchten run” takes place every four years between New Year’s Day and the Epiphany in the region of Bad Gastein and Bad Hofgastein. Amongst the circa 140 different figures that participate in the run (a.o. traditional music of the “Perchten”, the three Magi, “Schleifermandl”, “Hanswurste”, witches, “Kramperln” and “Perchten” with beaks), there are around 30 cap wearers (“Kappenträger”) with impressive headdresses, some of which are several meters high.

These cap wearers bring blessings and good wishes to the audience by way of short dances and a bow at the command of the “Perchten” captain. Due to its great number of participants and the large distance that is covered, this “Perchten run” is one of the largest events of its kind in the Alpine region and has an excellent reputation amongst the population.