Traditions and customs

Are you familiar with Bavarian traditions? You can get to know them in the Chiemgau. Lederhosen and dirndl are, of course, part of the story; although they are only worn on special occasions by most.

Traditions and customsTraditions and customs

Are you familiar with Bavarian tradition?

You can get to know them in the Chiemgau. Lederhosen and Dirndl are, of course, part of the story:

Feel the Bavarian lifestyle

One of the best ways to get to know to Bavarian culture and tradition, is to participate to the so-called “Gautrachtenfest“, which could be translated as “Bavarian folklore costume festivity“. Those are arranged by “Trachtenvereine“, which are associations that preserve the bavarian tradition in the most original way: they campaign for indigenous folklore costumes, folk music, folk dances, Schuhplattler dance, figure dance, the Bavarian language and the customs. Tradition, faith and the church are very important values as well as the community and the love for the homeland. The members wear a very costly and individual bavarian costume like Lederhose and Dirndl, just more individual and costly made. Thusly, the “Trachtenvereine“ and accordingly the “Gautrachtenfeste” are the figurehead of bavarian tradition. They take place at different locations in the Chiemgau, always at the last weekends in july. But what is done exactly during a “Gautrachtenfest”, for what it’s worth? Most of the “Trachtenvereine” litigate in their traditional costumes through the village or city which had planned the festivity. After that, everybody celebrates together in a beer tent to the sound of Bavarian folk music while enjoying the unique Bavarian food and drinks.  Let yourself be tempted to discover still living traditions and the cosy Bavarian lifestyle.

Excellent classical concerts in historical buildings

The Chiemgau is known for its impressive landscapes, its beautiful nature and lots of idyllic places. But Chiemgau has more to offer. Passion for music, art and culture is here part of life. Musical diversity presents itself in authentic folk music to jazz to classical music. When great enthusiasm, a special musicality and a long musical tradition are coinciding, there is a highly fertile ground for the development of great festivals. A really special and brilliant festival is also the CHIEMGAUER MUSIKFRÜHLING which is going to take place during May  and June in Traunstein, Seeon and Traunreut. It’s already the 13th time that this festivity was succefully arranged by the pianist Diana Ketler and the violist Razvan Popovici who have composed a very varied and expressive programme which will fascinate – as every year - all fans of classic, not only in the region. You have the unique possibility to hear top-class performers who are counted among the best chamber musicians of whole Europe in the Chiemgau. There are new faces like the pianist Marianna Schirinyan, the violist Vladimir Mendelssohn and the pianist duo Anna and Ines Walachowski who encounter popular artists like the violists Gilles Apap, Alissa Margulis, Daniel Rowland, Erik Schumann and Alexander Sitkovetsky, the cellists Julian Arp, Alexander Bouzlov and Bernhard Naoki Hedenborg as well as the oboist Tamar Inbar. We welcome you to relish this great and extraordinary experience.

Horse processions

Horse processions are key dates for the diary. In honour of patron Saint Leonhard, Michael and Georg the horse pilgrimages take place in different localities with feastfully decorated horse carriages and horses in the end of a famer’s year. The churches which are hallowed to the patrons often are in the focus of such an event.  It’s about to bless the riders and their horses according to the ancient tradition. This annual major event is a mix of a colourful historical pageant, living tradition and the confession of the christian faith.
Mostly known is the Georgiritt in Traunstein that traditionally occurs on Easter Monday. It is the largest horse procession in Bavaria and is held in honour of Saint George – the patron saint of horses and their riders. Related to the “Georgiritt” is a sword dance, whose historical roots date back to the year 1530. The dance symbolises the victory of spring over winter. The “Georgiritt” is one of the most beautiful holidays in entire Chiemgau. 
As mentioned above, there is also a procession named “Leonhardiritt” which takes place in late autumn. Saint Leonhard is the patron of cattle, in particular of horses.
The horse procession in honour of patron saint Michael is based on the “Leonhardiritt”. There is an easy explication for this: the date of the “Leonhardiritt” proved unfavourable, so, without further ado, they changed the date of the procession into the day of saint’s day Michael. He is regarded as the patron saint of the parish church. Thusly it was easy to link saint’s day Michael with a famer’s holiday.

Putting up the Maypole

Putting up the Maypole is another old custom. Maypoles are barked and often painted trees, which are generally decorated with artistic wooden shields. They are put up on the 1st May in many towns and villages throughout the Chiemgau. It always takes place in a central square and is connected with a festival.