Easter is a particularly traditional time in Salzburg's Lungau region.
In addition to the famous Lungau Easter fire, there are also a variety of customs and traditions that make the Lungau Easter Festival a very special one.
"Easter time in Salzburg's Lungau region is colorful,
varied and traditional"
The palm bushes, made from boxwood and willow branches, remind us of the Palm Sunday procession and the palm branches which were strewn as Christ entered Jerusalem.
After the blessing, they are treated as a symbol of protection and fertility, either borne out into the garden or field, or kept in the house to be used on Christmas Eve or New Year`s incense
A special highlight of this time of year in the Lungau is the dying of so-called "Grawirlacheier".
In the process, a hard-boiled egg is laid on a "Grawirlach", a linen cloth coated with shaggy, green chervil, "Kasbleamen" (crocus) and onion skin, wrapped up and tied on both ends, then laid in the egg dye for a few minutes. The result is especially beautiful, with unique patterns appearing on the eggs. Easter eggs are a symbol of fertility and new beginnings.
These are generally schoolchildren, who are out and about from Good Friday until Holy Saturday with their scraping, clattering wood-carved rattles, proclaiming their message in front of homes and all the while singing: "Wir ratschen, wir ratschen den englischen Gruas, den jeder Christgläubige betn muas. Foits nida auf enkane Knia, bets drei Vaterunser und a Ave Maria" (essentially: "Drop to your knees, pray 3 'Our Fathers' and an 'Ave Maria'").
On the last day, the sing: "Wir ratschen und ratschen zum letzten Mal z`samm, weil die Glocken sind wieder da aus Rom."
Then they go to the houses and ask for a small gift, which is generally a red egg, sweets and a bit of money.
In this ancient game, lads and lasses line up as couples in a single row.
A boy - known as the "Gones" (gander) - calls out "Gones, Gones, kikeriki - des letzte Paarl her für mi". The couple then run away separately and if the "Gones" manages to catch the girl, the boy who loses becomes the new "Gones".