Customs and Traditions of the Grossarl Valley
Traditions of the Salzburger Land
The current customs of the Grossarl Valley are an interesting mix of rural farming traditions and religious influences. Have you ever seen the beautifully decorated cattle being driven to pasture? Or how people dress up as horned, furry creatures and roam the streets? No? Then you are overdue for a visit to the Grossarl Valley.
From the Corpus Christi procession to Thanksgiving and on to an alpine Christmas, traditions in the Grossarl Valley are an important part of everyday life. The customs of the Grossarl inhabitants are gladly shared with holiday visitors. And no matter when you visit, there is bound to be a seasonal highlight that you can take part in or witness.
Once the snow has slowly melted and spring has arrived in Grossarl, many church holidays are celebrated, such as the Corpus Christi procession and the Holy Week leading up to Easter, during which Palm Sunday takes place. A more secular celebration revolves around the maypole: beer, Salzburger Land specialities and folk music captivate you as the decorated maypole is erected – a true festival to behold.
The Harvest Festival – A Mountain Farmer’s Tradition
The end of the alpine summer means the beginning of the next farming season: The Harvest Festival has arrived. A very special event is the alpine cattle drive – a time when the cattle are brought back into the valley. This celebration includes each cow being adorned with magnificent floral decoration. There’s one exception though: if a herd hasn’t made it through the summer unscathed, the herd’s owner is not allowed to put a wreath around their representative cow’s neck for the return trip.
A Visit from Krampus
It can be very scary to see these furry creatures with long horns and creepy masks roaming the streets. But originally, each of the “Krampus” and “Perchten” were tasked with driving away all of the evil spirits that surrounded the houses of Grossarl. Nowadays there is a large Perchten parade that takes place on the main square in town that is an exhibition for people dressed up as the “Krampus”. The masks worn are all hand made in the Grossarl Valley.