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    Customs and traditions

    Cattle drive to and from the summer pastures

    Each June the century-old tradition takes place: The farmers drive their herds up to the summer pastures from the Gastein valley. The cattle thrive on the full-flavoured alpine herbs and flowers and mountain air. The dairy products, which are made are especially delicious; discover some of the 55 alpine meadows in Gastein.

    A special event in mid-September is the traditional herding down of the sheep in Sportgastein.
    A meadow hike is suddenly transformed into a festival, if you are lucky to chance upon the herding down of cattle. The animals are festively decorated as they make their way down from the summer mountain pastures back to the barn, where they spend the winter. At the farmers' markets delicacies from Gastein can be purchased. A tasty roast lamb is traditionally prepared at this time and should not be missed.

    Harvest Festival

    When the sun's rays start to lose their intensity and the woodland foliage is bursting with vibrant colours, then it's time to welcome the autumn!
    At the end of August the harvest festival begins with an exuberant opening. The local population from the valley adorn their surroundings with festive decorations and dress themselves in traditional costumes.
    Experience the colourful side of Gastein with its genuine traditions, maintained throughout centuries. Gather lots of new impressions at the Harvest Festival which lasts until the end of October!

    Gastein "Krampus" celebration

    On December 5 each year a "Krampus" run takes place all over Gastein, the main event is in Gastein itself. Fearsome creatures with devil's masks carved from wood and with goats'horns attached go from house to house accompanied by St. Nicholas.

    Beneath the disguise are young boys. They are dressed in lamb fleece and have large cowbells round their midriff which cause a hellish racket, audible from afar.
    Each set of "Krampus" figures consists of a basket carrier, the "Girzeltroger" or "Guazltrager", who has pastries and nuts in his basket, and a St. Nicholas figure, with an ornate costume. Each set of "Krampus" has its own name, passed on through generations, e.g. the "Hochalm-Pass", the "Stubner-Pass" etc.

    Gastein "Perchten" (Winter)

    The Gastein "Perchtenlauf" has been in existence for centuries, and is one of Salzburg province's oldest traditional customs. Every 4 years the "Perchten" in Bad Gastein and in Bad Hofgastein are out and about all day and all over the valley on January 1. and 6. from 7 a.m. till late in the evening.
    They dance around with their heavy headgear. The witches sweep incessantly, the workmen offer their services, meanwhile the music strikes up... This is a special occasion for locals and participants alike. Women are not allowed to take part, following the age-old tradition.

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