When Krampus and Perchten get around in Salzburg
If Krampus and Perchten go around too Christmas in Salzburg, then hell is going on in the Gnigl district. Some years ago we came into contact with the alpine tradition of St. Nicholas for the first time. At that time one interrupted Group of Krampussen unexpectedly our dinner in a Salzburg suburban hotel. Since then we have been fascinated by the harsh fellows, St. Nicholas in the time before the 6. December on his way through the Salzburg Voralpenland accompany. They look wild, the shaggy creatures with their white, gray or black skins, the loud cowbells or chains that beat on metal containers and the gruesome masks with horns of local animals from the Alps.
When Krampus and Perchten are around - a custom from the Middle Ages
The tradition of Krampus and Perchten dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time, the church promoted the dramaturgy of the bogeymen who accompanied Saint Nicholas on his processions. Nicholas, on the other hand, expressed his goodwill to those who had kept the commandments during the year. In Salzburg and its surroundings, a Krampus looks terrifying. You rarely see the original Krampus with his fur and red head. When a Krampus walks around in Salzburger Land, you see the most terrifying masks.
Often, their appearance has mingled with that of the Wildperchten, which during the Raun nights after the 21. December cast out the spirits of winter. Do not forget in this context the Schönperchten, who also roam through the villages of the Salzburger Land during the rough nights at the end of December and beginning of January. They announce the spring as aesthetes. Actually, this is a different custom that is older. But over the course of history, the boundaries between Krampus, the Perchten and the Schönperchten mixed in the folk tradition of the Alpine foothills.
Grim masks when Krampus and Perchten are around in Gnigl
Of course, we don't see peaceful companions at the Krampus run in Gnigl, a suburb of Salzburg. Here's the real deal. When Krampus and Perchten get around in Salzburg, all hell breaks loose. If a Krampus hadn't run through the closed street before the start of the Krampus run and with the clattering of cowbells on his back to his girlfriend to get a kiss, I would hardly have guessed such young lads under the masks. These are terrifying. Some of the wild fellows seem big to me in their skins, which they shake under the din of the cowbells. They strapped the bells to their backs.
The Russian girl sitting on the fence in front of us doesn't seem to mind that every few minutes another Kramperl with a wild face and long horns is magically attracted to her. When Krampus and Perchten are around, it's not going to be gentle. Some try to frighten it, others swipe their cow and fur tails across its face. The little one can't get enough of it. The father next to her laughs at every Krampus who approaches his daughter.
Wild witches suit the Krampus
Even the witches show up. One performs leapfrogs and rollovers before approaching us. She swings her broom threateningly in the air. It moves towards us hesitantly and with uncoordinated leaps. Her nose sticks out like a hook from her wooden face, which is covered by a pointed hat that slips down her face with every step. The witches are in no way inferior to Krampus and Perchten in their unpredictability.
It's one hell of a spectacle when Krampus and Perchten go around, ringing in the Christmas season in Salzburg's Gnigl district. Crowds line the path of the wild creatures, and in some places the people are so dense that it is almost impossible to make your way through. There is a tension in the air that makes the crowd vibrate. What an experience! How wonderful that this tradition is still alive in Salzburg.
The spectacle when Krampus and Perchten go around. you can experience in Petar's video.
Worth a visit when Krampus and Perchten are bustling in Salzburg.
You can see Krampus and Perchten in Gnigl at:
Dec 2, 2023 (Sat)
- from 19 pm
Krampus run in Gnigl
The Krampus Run in Gnigl runs from Turnerstraße, where the groups gather, along Linzer Bundesstraße (towards the city) and Schillinghofstraße. There you can see up to 900 Krampus journeymen, Nikolos and basket bearers up to mischief. Kid friendly event!
For overnight we recommend this Naturidyll Hotel Hammerschmiede in Anthering *, which is only about 15 minutes outside of Salzburg in the middle of the forest.
Arrival by plane, train and bus
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and other airlines fly to Salzburg. It is possible to travel to Salzburg by train. Also drive Long-distance buses * to Salzburg.
Accommodation in Salzburg
Hotels in Salzburg * you can also conveniently book online via booking.com.
Our travel tips for Salzburg
These travel tips we tested ourselves. Maybe there is something for you?
Christmas tips for Salzburg
- Christmas in Salzburg
- Three Christmas markets in Salzburg from romantic to noble
- Salzburg for Christmas in the Stiftskeller
- Salzburger Christkindlmarkt on the cathedral square
- Christmas on the fortress Hohensalzburg
- Silent Night, Holy Night & Salzburg
- Romantic Christmas market in Hellbrunn Palace
- Experience the Christmas spirit in Stiftskeller St. Peter
- Customs in Austria in winter
Do you also know:
- A garden in the Kleinwalsertal
- Which rain jacket is the best?
- Manhattan - the heart of New York City
- Comfortable winter boots
- Packing list winter vacation
- Gifts for travelers
Christmas customs from all over the world can also be found at We2ontour. Slow Travel Tips there's also here.
Source When Krampus and Perchten deal: On-site research. We would like to thank Salzburg Tourism for the invitation to this trip. However, our opinion remains our own.
Text Krampus: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
3 thoughts too "When the Krampus gets around in Salzburg"
Oh, that's an atmosphere of its own that you can not get enough of. Two years ago I experienced a Perchten run on the fortress Hohensalzburg for the first time and also last weekend in Hintersee it was again a varied spectacle.
That's right, Gudrun. We saw our first Perchten run last January. However, it was very different from the Krampus run in Gnigl. At that time it was the great Schönperchten from Ebensee, which made a lot of noise, but their caps weren't as scary as those of the Krampuses. But I still wonder today how the runners can wear the heavy hats over miles ... That made a big impression on us.
Comments are closed.