Traditional costumes  & tradition at festivities | © Steiermark Tourismus | Michael Strobl

Customs & Folk Culture

Folk culture can be experienced in many places in Styria: traditional costumes, dialect, dance and handicraft are important components of everyday Styrian life. The customs are also indispensable. Closely connected with the seasons and nature, customs accompany the way of life from spring to winter. Discover a selection of sights, events and interesting facts about the customs throughout the year.

What do the terms 'Pless' or 'ratcheting' mean to you? We will answer the question: customs have developed differently, with different forms occurring in the various regions. Customs usually have a direct relation to the seasons and to the landscape. Customs mark and highlight important dates throughout the year. This often happens through handed-down stories, dances, songs or even unusual figures, such as the Pless.  

The Pless figures thus stand for winter, which is to be expelled by the children during carnival. An important aspect that was relevant in rural everyday life: after the winter, the spring was to bring growth and the sun again. The ratcheting, on the other hand, a noise made with a wooden instrument, sounds from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday and is to replace the sounds of the church bells, which are silent over Easter. Customs thus work strongly with images and ritual actions, which are in harmony with nature. In many cases, customs are also very closely linked with religious belief. From spring to winter, old traditions are celebrated in Styria, from the maypole celebration to the alpine transhumance, from the harvest festivals to the Advent season. If you would like to learn more about the peculiarities and unique features of Styrian customs, browse through the following selection:

© Steiermark Tourismus |

Customs & Museums

Experience Styrian Folk and Everyday Culture on the Spot
If you are interested, you can gain exciting insights into the way of life of miners and craftsmen in some of the folk culture museums in Styria. Other museums show the history of viticulture and others  focus on the topics of hunting and agriculture. Dive into other worlds of life!