Grand Samson parade in Mauterndorf
The Giant Samson parade - the attraction during your summer holiday
The Samson figure is an integral element of the culture in Salzburg's Lungau. It is a hollowed out body that is up to 6.5 metres high and dates back to the Old Testament figure of Samson. In Mauterndorf this figure is carried through the town several times in the summer during the Samson parade.
The Samson parade is an event in Lungau that is very well received by both the locals and guests. Samson also has two dwarves with him, which are also represented by figures. In Mauterndorf, Samson and the dwarves are accompanied through Mauterndorf town centre by the town band, the historical guards as well as the traditional costume group and "Schrefel" riflemen.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Samson has been listed in the UNESCO directory of intangible cultural heritage in Austria since 2011. Samson is represented with the jawbone of an ass and a spear. The Samson figure has been historically documented since 1635 and symbolizes a biblical figure that is supposed to have killed 1,000 of the enemy in the battle against the Philistines. We at the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve are very proud of this custom and always look forward to the Samson parade taking place. What is remarkable is that the figure, which weighs approx. 85 kilograms, is carried by just one man. The Samson carrier is only assisted by helpers when the giant is standing. The dwarf figures are carried by two men.
The town band, historical guards, traditional costume group and "Schrefel" riflemen
Samson does not parade through the town on his own though. The giant is accompanied by the Mauterndorf town band. Samson stops at several points throughout the town. The band then plays the Mauterndorf Samson waltz which Samson dances to. They then continue with the marching music to the next stop. Our boss Richard and his sons are actively involved with the town band. By contrast, the boss Anja is in the traditional costume group that dances during the parade and gives this Lungau custom an incomparable charm.
Our historical guards are also present. Our riflemen fire a salute in honour of our Samson. Another unique group in Mauterndorf are the "Schrefel" riflemen. The "Schrefel" riflemen are a group of children who fire honorary salutes just like the "big" riflemen. But they do this with wooden rifles, so-called "Schrefel".