So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog

Easter in Lungau – more pagan than Christian?

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Our local newspaper ran an article last week about the roots of our traditional Easter fire in the Lungau – and it is something special here. Turns out the fires were originally dedicated to an pagan deity, then the jolly old Catholics came along and tried to squash the tradition, but failed, so took it over -as they did a lot of local stuff. The reason why this persisted here goes back to the 18th century when the french troops were over running this part of Europe and turned up in the Lungau one evening. When they saw all the fires they thought they were more troops, and so turned and fled.  So every Easter Saturday, we have loads of fires, which of course is another excuse for plenty of beer and sausages.



This is a rattle to scare away the evil spirits over the Passion days. A group of kids come around four times, starting on Good Friday at about 4 a.m, then midday with a repeat run on Saturday. It is also that the Church bells are stopped. But Christian?  Still its a nice little earner for the kids as they get sweets and cash for their efforts at waking us up – and they succeeded. Remember the old football rattles but twice as noisy!

But as to hanging eggs on a tree, no idea but I did one anyway!


Another local Austrian tradition is taking a basket to the Easter service, filled with goodies such as butter, eggs and cake and getting it blessed- I wonder where that comes from?  And the colouring of eggs – aren’t these wonderful done by one of our neighbours. It was a shame to eat them, so I photo’d them first!


But then again, at here is recognised, people are in church -even if they don’t quite know why, and it is accepted that the feast is all about Jesus and the resurrection, better than a certain  country where I come from,where all the people see is another chance for gluttony and a long weekend. Though I must admit I did enjoy my chocolate eggs!

Oh and yes, it snowed on the day!  A local saying is green Christmas, white Easter, so all you climate change peeps, this daft weather has happened before!



Earlier post
on this theme.

Author: annarashbrook

English Ex-pat living in Austria, Christian, blogger (of course) writer, photographer, dog owner!

One thought on “Easter in Lungau – more pagan than Christian?

  1. So interesting to hear about the origins of certain traditions! Sounds like you had a good Easter!


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