A glimmering Twelfth Night
The "Glöckler" (bell walkers) in the Salzkammergut region
Twelfth Night is celebrated from the 5 to 6 January. In the Salzkammergut region, it is the domain of the "Glöckler" - men dressed in white who wear elaborate pieces of illuminated headwear crafted over many hours with their own two hands. Imagination has no bounds when it comes to the shape of these Glöckler head pieces: stars in a multitude of variations as well as pyramids or comets with long tails can be spotted.
When darkness falls on 5 January, the "Glöckler" gather in their groups, called "Passen". These fantastical figures go from house to house, heading for the town centre, and are quite a sight to see.
The custom originated in the town of Ebensee by Lake Traun and is on UNESCO's Immaterial Cultural Heritage list. It is preserved all over the Salzkammergut region from Lake Atter to Lake Traun and Bad Ischl, all the way to Bad Goisern and Obertraun.
Bell walk parade
Ebensee is where "Glöcklerläufe" (bell walk parade) first originated.Bell walk in Ebensee
In Gmunden all the "Glöckler" (bell walkers) enter the Town Hall square.Bell walk in Gmunden
Each and every "Glöckler" head piece is a work of art in itself.Traunkirchen
Participants wear head pieces illuminated by candles and chiming bells.Bad Ischl
In Bad Goisern the Goiserer "Kinderpass" pass by numerous curious spectators.Bad Goisern
The " Obertrauner Glöckler" dress in white, with bells, candles and head pieces.Obertraun
In Unterach, children and youngsters accompany the walk as torch bearers.Unterach
In Steinbach there is also a "Glöcklerpass" group of young lads who dance.Steinbach