Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

The Carnival Run of Murau

Applicant: Mag. Alfred Baltzer und Ing. Rudolf Paschek, i.V. Arbeitskreis Volkskultur Murau
Province: Styria
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2011

This exhausting and elaborate procession and “Heische” tradition (a custom of asking for alms) takes place in regular intervals of two to five years on a certain day of the year - typically on Carnival Monday - in several villages in the district of Murau. The equipment of the carnival runners commemorates the former clothing of threshers, while the appearance and the number of carnival runners as well as their accompanying figures show slight regional differences. The participating groups and figures move either by vehicle or by foot from yard to yard and have to overcome obstacles before being allowed to enter. These typically comprise either overcoming a tightened chain (Speng) or accepting a challenge for a duel. All in all, a distance of up to 30 kilometres is covered. At 7pm, all groups have to be at the church, where a final “Kranzl” (traditional dance) is run.