Ratchet in the Murtal | © Tourismusinformation Erlebnisregion Murtal | Fössl Anita Ratchet in the Murtal | © Tourismusinformation Erlebnisregion Murtal | Fössl Anita

I am a Murtaler - The ratchet

  • 2 minutes of reading time
When the church bells leave the Murtal on Maundy Thursday and fly to Rome, the ratchets move into the region and many children look forward to accompanying Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

The church bells fall silent on Maundy Thursday. Devout silence returns to the tranquil Murtal - or maybe not. Tradition is lived and loved in the Murtal and so many children parade through the region during Easter week and draw attention to themselves with ratchets. According to custom, the ratchets indicate the old prayer times in the morning, at midday and in the evening.

This cheerful but also devout custom lives on in many places in Austria. The ratchets are often passed down from generation to generation or even made at home. The ratchet is particularly cheerful before the consecration of the meat, when the delicious delicacies are carried in baskets into the church or to outdoor places to be consecrated and then eaten with family and friends. 

The most important Easter traditions in the Murtal at a glance:

Palm Sunday - On the Sunday before Holy Week, palm brooms are consecrated in the church.

Maundy Thursday - On the Thursday of Holy Week, spinach is eaten in the Mur Valley. The church bells fall silent on this day. The story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is commemorated at the foot-washing ceremony in church in the evening.

Holy Saturday - On Holy Saturday, people gather in many places, farms or churches with baskets of bread, meat, coloured eggs, horseradish, salt and much more and have the food consecrated. In the evening, Easter bonfires are lit in many places. In some places, the consecration of the crown is also celebrated, where logs of wood are consecrated to bring blessing to every home.

Easter Sunday - the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated.

The Ratsche always keeps a close eye on what's happening in the Murtal. We let her tell the story herself.

Erlebnisregion Murtal: "What connects you to the Murtal?"
Ratsche: "I am an age-old tradition. Customs are very important to the inhabitants of the Murtal and are also greatly appreciated and loved by many visitors."

Erlebnisregion Murtal: "When do you feel the heartbeat in the Murtal?"
Ratsche: "I'm only fully in action for a very short time each year. When people talk to me, my heart is always beating wildly and I get really excited."

Erlebnisregion Murtal: "Where is your favourite place in the Murtal?"
Ratsche: "I especially love the small, traditional villages of the Murtal. I feel really at home here."