UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Salzkammergut

Oral traditions, performing arts, social rituals and festivals, knowledge of nature or handicrafts - intangible cultural heritage is alive. It is carried by human knowledge and ability and passed on from one generation to the next. Intangible cultural heritage shapes social coexistence and makes an important contribution to the sustainable development of societies. On this page we present the Unesco intangible cultural heritage of the Salzkammergut. A total of 14 handicrafts, rituals, festivals and others have already been named Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage.

© Landschaftskrippen ©TVB MondSeeLand/ Weinhäupl
Eine Frau trägt ein junges Kind auf ihrem Arm. Die beiden bewundern eine aufwändig gestaltetet Landschaftskrippe.

Setting up and visiting the landscape cribs

in the Salzkammergut

The landscape cribs are typical folk cribs that embed the biblical story of the birth of Christ in a local setting. In the course of time, the figurative and often room-filling "landscape cribs" developed from cribs. The annual setting up and the visit of hundreds of landscape cribs in private houses during the Christmas season shows the great importance of this custom for the people of the Salzkammergut, even today.


© Produktion Liebstatt-Herzen Gmunden Backhaus Hinterwirth 07 Wolfgang Spitzbart (1) (002)

Liebstatt Sunday in Gmunden

The Sunday of Love in Gmunden is celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday of Lent. The two Gmunden traditional costume clubs and the gold bonnet and headscarf group meet at nine o'clock to go to church in the parish church. This is followed by a procession with a band that marches to the town hall square. After a brief greeting and explanation of the custom, the association members give decorated gingerbread hearts to the population and guests.


© Traunkirchner Mordsgschicht ©TVB Traunsee-Almtal/ Fellner
Ein Gruppe in Frack und mit Zylindern gekleideter Männer steht auf einer verschneiten Plattform. Im Hintergrund erstreckt sich ein Berg. Die Männer tragen Schilder auf den steht "Traunkirchner Mordsgschiht".

Traunkirchner Mordgschicht

The Traunkirchner Mordsgschicht is a musical lecture in the style of the Moritatengesang. Originally spread throughout the Salzkammergut, this custom is only practiced in Traunkirchen. On Mardi Gras Sunday, the singers in tails and top hats go from inn to inn and present cheerful events to the village community of the past year. In return, hospitality, allowances or a meal together will be accepted.


© EbenseerFetzenzug(4)_TVBTraunsee

Ebenseer scraps

The Ebenseer Fetzenzug is an annual carnival parade on Mardi Gras in Ebensee. The participants, the so-called “scraps”, dress in old women's robes with rags sewn to them. They wear a tattered hat and an artistically carved wooden mask. An essential element of the tatter procession is the so-called 'blaming' the audience.


© Liachtbratlmontag_TVBBadIschlHörmandinger
Bad Ischl

Lichtbratl Monday

Every year on the Monday after Michaelmas (September 29), the light roast Monday is celebrated in Bad Ischl. This refers to a custom in which masters used to buy their employees a "Bratl" because that was the first day that artificial light had to be used again. Today it is a class meeting of all round jubilarians from 50 of each year who were born in Bad Ischl or have their main residence there.


© Glöckler ©TVB Traunsee-Almtal
Die Teilnehmers eines Glöcklerlaufs aufwändig verzierte und beleuchtet Glöcklerkappen gehen an einem verschneiten Feld entlang.

Ebenseer Glöcklerl run

The Glöcklerlauf, which takes place annually on January 5th, is characterized by the typical white robe of all passports, the wearing and ringing of large bells, the running of various figures and the wearing of light caps. In the last few decades the interest in Glöcklerlauf increased in large parts of the Salzkammergut, as the tourist potential of this tradition was recognized.


© RinnerkogelEbensee(6)_ViktoriaBarth
Wandern am Rinnerkogel.

Salzkammergut bird trapping

The tradition of bird trapping in the Salzkammergut includes catching individual native forest birds in autumn, keeping the birds outside of the fishing season in aviaries, and the forest bird exhibition on the Sunday in front of Kathrein (end of November), in which the most beautiful birds due to their splendor of color, integrity and flawlessness State of care. With the exception of the decoys, the birds are released in the spring.


© Wirlinger Böllerschützen ©WTG
Auf der Wiese vor einer Hütte stehen die Mitglieder der Traditionsschützen Wirling.
St. Wolfgang

Wirlinger gunmen

The traditional shooting club Wirling is probably the only club in Austria that is authorized to practice traditional gun shooting. The firecrackers accompany religious and secular festivals. A specially constructed firecracker gun is brought into position on a hill and, depending on the occasion, fired at precisely defined times. It is important to always wait for the echo of the firecrackers bang, which can last up to twelve seconds, before firing the next shot.


© (c) TVB Ausseerland - Salzkammergut/Martin Huber
Krampusse, der Nikolaus und andere Figuren, die beim Nikolospiel mitmachen posieren für ein Foto.

Nikolospiel in Bad Mitterndorf

The Nikolospiel in Bad Mitterndorf is a parlor and moving game that is performed every year on December 5th at different locations. The performance originally took place in farmhouses and taverns, but since 1959 the performance has been presented to a wider audience on Mitterndorfer Hauptplatz. The Nikolospiel is made up of different characters who form a procession between the performance venues.


© (c) TVB Ausseerland - Salzkammergut/Martin Huber
Faschingstreiben in Bad Aussee. Man sieht verkleidete Menschen, die mit Trommeln durch die Straßen ziehen.

Aussee carnival

The Aussee Carnival takes place from Mardi Gras Sunday to Mardi Gras Tuesday. Three main characters play an essential role: drum women, Flinserl and Pless. On all three days, so-called carnival letters will also be presented in various restaurants, with mishaps, local politics and local conditions from the old year being targeted in rhyming and sung form, supported by hand-drawn pictures.


© © Ferienregion Dachstein Salzkammergut / Viorel Munteanu
Ein Mann schifft mit seiner Plätte über den Hallstättersee. Er steht und hält dabei ein Ruder.

The Fuhr on Lake Hallstatt

The "Fuhren" (flat transport boats made of wood, also called plattens) have a long tradition on Lake Hallstatt as a means of transporting goods and people. As early as the 13th century, after the reopening of the salt mine in Hallstatt, shipping across the lake and the Traun was necessary to transport the goods. Today only a few people have mastered this craft.


© Goldschale mit typisch geflammten Dekor ©GmundnerKeramik
Eine Schüssel in grünem Gmundner Keramik geflammt mit Deckel

Flames of ceramics

This describes the application of a recognizable pattern to ceramic parts. The first discoveries of white-blue colored ceramics in the area around Gmunden date back to 1600, from which the typical decorating technique, the “flamed” or “Gmundnerian crockery”, developed. You learn the craft of flaming in around two years, during which value is placed on sustainable and local production. Patterns in loops or loops, in stripes, waves or arcs are typical. The green banding in connection with the white glaze base forms the typical "green flamed" that is applied to dishes and decorative objects.