Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

"Bloch-pulling" in Fiss

Applicant: Verein "Blochziehen Fiss": Obmann Christian Kofler, Obmannstellv. Thomas Wachter
Province: Tyrol
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2011

The “bloch-pulling” in Fiss (“bloch” is the long trunk of a stone pine) belongs to the largest carnival traditions in the Alpine region, besides those in Telfs, Imst, Nassereith, Thaur, Axams, Vigo di Fassa and Tramin. It takes place every four years, the next one taking place on 26 January 2014. Besides the “bloch-pulling” of the adults, the children’s “bloch-pulling” for six to fourteen-year-olds takes place every other four years. At the end of autumn, the fetching of the “Bloch” tree occurs, where a magnificent stone pine is felled, guarded and placed on three sledges two days prior to the carnival procession. On the day of the procession, the participating figures assemble at the village centre and – at the command of the wagoner – the “Bloch” is put into motion by numerous masked persons. Witches and devils (“Schwoaftuifl”) attempt to hamper the moving of the “Bloch”. Playful elements are not only an essential detail, but also serve as entertainment for the spectators. Once the “Bloch” has arrived at the school house, it is then auctioned off.