© Bad Ischl © Salzkammergut_Stadler
Blick vom Traunufer auf die gegenüberliegende Häuserzeile in Bad Ischl.

Glöckler runs in the Salzkammergut region

Ancient customs with their secret magic around the winter raun nights have a firm place in the tradition of the Salzkammergut. Every year on the 5th of January, the eve of the Three Kings, Glöckler pass through the Salzkammergut as light figures with beautiful, glowing, handmade caps, driving away the evil spirits with their bells and bringing salvation and blessing. A unique spectacle for spectators. The Glöckler are beautiful pearls, good spirits of light, which should finally drive away the evil Rauhnachtsgeister - the Glöcklerlauf therefore takes place every year in the last winter night, on 5 January.


Glöckler Tradition in Salzkammergut

The Glöckler are moving in white robes from the surrounding villages to the city centre and from house to house in the villages. With their colourful, artfully worked, brightly shining bell-cap they offer a wonderful picture, when they all pull in exactly the same step their orbits, their sun calling circles, spirals and eights, if their bonnets - artful shapes like stars, semicircles, pyramids and drums - shine and light up the dark night.


© Photo Salzkammergut/Katrin Kerschbaumer: Glöckler from Lake Traunsee
We see three large Glöckler caps. These handmade works of art are carried by men on their shoulders on 5 January and taken from place to place to drive out the winter spirits. The caps are backlit with candles or lights.
© Glöckler im Salzkammergut ©TVB Bad Ischl
Im Zentrum des Bildes steht die aufwändig verzierte und beleuchtet Glöcklerkappe eines Teilnehmers eines Glöcklerlaufs. Im Hintergrund knien weitere Glöckler mit ihren bunt leuchtenden Glöcklerkappen.

They are the lightbringer, who, according to ancient pagan belief, defeat darkness and cold with light and warmth. The salvation and blessing of the good spirits shall be won and the evil spirits of darkness shall be driven away. The ringing of the bells and the rhythm of their footsteps shall awaken the grain lying under the snow cover and make it grow. In many places of the Salzkammergut they walk their paths and carry the light through the night to the fields and into the houses of the people. And it is common belief that the happier the coming year will be, the more bellhops will rush through the village.

The origins

Ebensee at Traunsee is the origin of this Raunacht tradition, which has been declared an immaterial cultural heritage of Austria by UNESCO. Traditional things are maintained and lived here unadulterated.

Also around the Wolfgangsee and in Bad Ischl, the bright light figures with their colourful, lovingly handcrafted caps - each of them a work of art in its own right - draw the public from house to house and through the town on 5 January at nightfall - an authentic spectacle worth seeing for locals and guests alike.

© Photo Salzkammergut Tourismus/Stadler Wolfgang:
© Glöckeln im Ausseerland (c) TVB Ausseerland-Salzkammergut_Siegfried Zink (3)

Glöckeln and Berigln in Ausseerland

In the early hours of the morning children with white embroidered linen bags go from house to house. They ring with bright and dull bells. Only after the householders open the door does the ringing stop. For the children there is usually a farmer's donut, sweets and an orange. In the evening, the Berigl then move through the villages. In the last rough night on January 5th, the gate to the other world closes and Mrs. Percht and the rest of the "wild hunt" have to leave the earthly world for a while.