Every year in January the balloon week takes place in Gosau at Dachstein, where countless balloons decorate both the ground and the air. (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)

in winter

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Carnival at the foot of Dachstein

Between flint and shreds - in no other part of our country is the carnival hustle and bustle so wild and enthusiastically celebrated with old customs and public masked parades as in the Salzkammergut.

Carnival in the Salzkammergut

It's still the same today and it was the same in the old days. Once upon a time, the salt workers came with their valuable cargo to Trieste and Venice and from there they brought new carnival customs to their mountain homeland. In this way the southern masked hustle and bustle in the valley towns of the Salzkammergut might have become famous and popular. In the gold shimmering Ausseer flint, whose magnificent carnival costumes impress the spectators every year, the expert recognizes Harlekins figures from southern countries.

The following photo gallery can be navigated with the arrow keys (left, right).

Carnival myths & carnival customs

Other motifs and figures of the masked processions in villages and markets of the Salzkammergut are sometimes still taken from old folk tales and customs. Here and there, the "Habergoaß" passes through the villages with a large following. The strange animal, "half Goaß" (goat), half "Bock", is represented by masked boys. A Maschkera reads the "Goaß sermon", in which the mistakes and weaknesses of the locals are scourged with witty words. The  goat weaknesses might have been precursors of today's usual carnival newspapers. In this carnival custom a humorous variation of all right exercises and old right customs, namely the public denunciation, can be recognized. Just like the "Obertrauner Keppelweiba", who go from inn to inn and present the misfortunes of the people of Obertraun. It is called the "Faschingsbriefsingen" (carnival letter singing).


An almost forgotten carnival custom was once the erection of old women's mills. Young girls, disguised as old women, climbed into the old women's mill, put down the masks with old faces there and came back from the mill as fresh dirndls with rosy young cheeks. A deep sense lay in this carnival custom: the coming spring makes everything new again!

Contact & Service

Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut
Kirchengasse 4
4822 Bad Goisern

+43 5 95095
+43 5 95095-74


Don’t hesitate to contact the team of local guides for any questions about the Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut.