The "Glöckler" are coming
A custom practised in the imperial town
The "Glöckler" procession (bell-ringing mythical pagan figures) takes place every year on the night before Epiphany. As darkness falls (approx. 5.00 p.m.) the groups gather by the Trinkhalle. After a short introduction to the individual groups and an explanation of the custom, the "Glöckler" procession starts through the whole of Bad Ischl, including a stop at the Goldener Ochs.
But where does the custom come from?
The name "Glöckler" is derived from "klocken" (= knocking) and refers to older pagan customs with masks. The "Glöckler" in their white costumes move in a procession from the surrounding towns and villages into the town centre and from house to house in the villages. The Glöckler come out of the darkness of the night with their artistic, bright luminous Glöckler hoods.
They are the bringers of light who defeat the darkness and cold with light and warmth, according to pagan belief. The salvation and blessing of the good spirits are supposed to be obtained and the evil spirits of darkness are driven away. The ringing of the bells and the rhythm of their steps is supposed to awaken the crops under the blanket of snow and make it start growing.
The "Glöckler" proceed in groups of roughly 20 people. The person at the front with their wooden stick gives a sign for the figures in the procession, for example a figure of eight or circle, both symbols of infinity and eternal reincarnation.
Another highlight on 5 January is the "Three Magi" ride
The Three Magi already ceremoniously ride into the centre of Bad Ischl on 5 January. Accompanied by torch bearers and shepherd singers they reach Bad Ischl town centre around 6.00 p.m. Old passed on shepherd songs from the Salzkammergut tourist region are sung. The robes of the Kings and their escorts and the horses' harnesses are particularly remarkable. The "Ride of the Three Magi" is carried out by the Bad Ischl society for traditional costumes and the Bad Ischl men's choral society.