"Roller" and "Scheller" at the Imst Schemenlauf Parade, © Tirol Werbung/Bernhard Aichner
"Roller" and "Scheller" at the Imst Schemenlauf Parade, © Tirol Werbung/Bernhard Aichner

Magical & Mystical: Carnival in Tirol

Carnival season includes some of the most important folk events of Tirol. Long past rites and customs are still lived here and include an array of magical and anxiously awaited spectacles. And if you are going to be in Tirol during the Carnival period, then you must definitely check out some of these unique spectacles.

Nowhere else will you find so many diverse and deeply entrenched Carnival traditions as in Tirol. The Carnival season celebrates the natural changes of seasons. As with many Tirolean carnival customs, the festive parades are symbolic of the fight between the winter and the spring. In long past times, human survival was dependent on the pattern of the seasons, from spring to winter, from seedtime to harvest. The early festivals originated in celebration of this natural wonder. In order to ensure that the pattern of seasons would not fail, rites and ceremonies dedicated to the different gods were devised.

As spring is the season of hope, spring festivals were joyous occasions in celebration of the rebirth of nature. Carnival customs reflect this happiness in singing, dancing, flowers, and jokes. There will be fleets of elaborately designed floats which caricature both, regional goings-on and ancient traditions. And many a visitor ends up on one of these floats to share a drink with the carnival characters. Tirol has many great and joyous Shrovetide celebrations and parades.

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