Rauris Schnabelperchten unique local traditions

With a gentle “Ga Ga Ga”, they make their way from house to house, checking that homes have had the appropriate upkeep, whether the floor has been properly swept and every corner has been dusted. Heaven forbid you don’t clean your house correctly – the ancient version of the legend says that, if that’s the case, the Schnabelperchten will slice open your stomach with a long pair of shears and empty all of the rubbish inside! Let it be said, however, that the Schnabelperchten are generally welcome guests – especially since they bring happiness and blessings for the coming year …

This special manifestation of the Perchten is only seen in Rauris Valley, here in Salzburger Land. In contrast to the noisy Schiachperchten – also known as the “Rauriser Toifin” or Krampusses – the Schnabelperchten make their way quietly through the streets. Schnabelperchten are figures with long beaks, knitted jackets, patched women’s smocks and straw slippers, and are equipped with a basket on their backs, large scissors, needle and thread, along with a broom. The beak is artistically and elaborately bound from large sticks of wood and farmhouse linen.
The Schnabelperchten make their way through town on the 5th of January, on the eve of Epiphany.
Research suggests that the tradition goes back to gold-mining times. In those days, it would seem that miners weren’t particularly picky when it came to keeping things clean and tidy ...

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