Parade of the Gloeckler
By ringing bells, the “Gloeckler” drive out evil spirits from the valleys, woodlands and their homes, and it is said that the more men who take part in this procession, the more good fortune the neighbourhood can look forward to in the forthcoming year.
The processions take place in the evening of January 5; white figures with ringing bellbelts and splendid colourful light caps on their heads pass numerous onlookers.
Lauffner Passen (group):
05:30 p.m. Marktplatz Lauffen – 06:15 p.m. Weißenbach
Goiserer Pass (group):
05:00 p.m. Metzgerwirt ViehHeli
05:30 p.m. Wiesen – 05:45 p.m. St. Agatha
06:20 p.m. Lasern
07:00 p.m. Moserwirt / 07:00 p.m. Ramsau Schießstätte
07:30 p.m. Lasererwirt
08:00 p.m. arrival of all groups at the marketplace of Bad Goisern at Lake Hallstatt.
The Gloeckler cap
The Gloeckler cap consists of a frame made from narrow strips of wood. These are covered with black paper.
In the past, “Gloeckler” used cardboard instead of paper as examples of decorative head wear, used in 1906, have shown. Patterns and interesting shapes are cut or punched out from this and bright coloured paper is stuck on from the inside. The edges are also decorated, mostly with fringes made from white tissue paper.
Candles inside the frames light up the head decorations, adding to their charm. In order that the “Gloeckler” do not have to go around in the dark, each group has its own “candle lighter”. At the head of each procession is a man without head decoration. Instead, he carries a stick which he waves to clear the way for the procession of bell ringers.
In former times, each man carried his own stick. Nowadays the head decorations are much larger, and both hands are often needed to support them. The leader also carries a bell around his waist which is much bigger than those carried by the other “Gloeckler”. This is used to stop the procession, to call upon the men to bow or to bend their knees.
Get more information about tradition & customs in the Dachstein Salzkammergut on our website.