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Klöckeln in Sarntal

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Dark winter nights, mysterious figures and loud noises: If you visit the Sarntal during Advent, here and there you may come across the Klöckler, who revive a special Advent custom from year to year.

What used to be widespread throughout the Alps has been preserved in its original form in Sarntal for centuries: the tradition called Klöckeln. It is not an organized event, but the Klöckel groups meet individually and secretly for their Advent mischief. 

Klöckler & Zussler

As all the Klöckler wear self-made masks, their identity remains hidden. However, only men have always been allowed to be part of the group. Nobody knows how or where they can be found on the two Thursday evenings before winter solstice. In any case, you cannot miss them. With a lot of noise and music from accordions, bells, devil’s violins and horns, the groups roam around the village. 

The two main characters – “Zusslmandl” and “Zusslweibele” – wear traditional costumes, run ahead and choose the house where they will knock on the door next. The couple visits the people of the house and get up to all kinds of mischief. In the meantime, the other Klöckler sing the traditional Klöckel song and the song of thanks before they finally move on.

Gifts for the Klöckler

The “Lottersack” carrier walks at the end of the group. It is a person who does the rounds among spectators and collects their gifts. In the past, bacon, chimney sausages and other delicacies ended up in the sack. Today, the money collected is usually donated to a good cause. 

It is not clear exactly where the custom of Klöckeln came from. However, it is assumed that it goes back to pre-Christian times and represents a kind of fertility rite. It is also said to drive away the dark spirits of winter

Further information:
Organizer: Tourism association Sarntal
Street: Kirchplatz 9
Venue: I-39058 Sarnthein
Tel.: +39 0471 623 091
  • Th 07. Dec 2023
  • Th 14. Dec 2023
Sarnthein - Sarntal
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