© Oss

Imster Schemenlaufen

Intangible Cultural Heritage

An Ancient Tradition

The Schemenlaufen carnival is one of the most colourful carnival traditions in the Alps. Central to the spectacle are the so-called Roller (jumpers) and Scheller (ringers). While a Roller is keen to demonstrate his elegance and jumping ability, the Scheller has to get his instruments (hand-made cow bells attached to his hips which weigh up to 35 kg) to produce a perfect sound. The parade orderlies (known as the Sackner, Spritzer and Kübelemajen) smooth a path for the main two protagonists through the crowd – you’d be wise to keep

out of their way! The grand finale to the morning parade and the actual procession after the 12 o’clock chimes culminates in the impressive spectacle of late afternoon. All of the masked participants assemble on the town square to form the ‘concluding circle’. Bang on 6 pm – just in time for vespers – they take off their masks for the very last time. It’s an emotional moment for Imst’s residents because they know it will be a few years before they can enjoy such a colourful carnival display again.

Kostümierte Fasnachtsfiguren stehen um einen Brunnen

Schemenlaufen in Imst

The Imst carnival has been declared Austria's first 'intangible cultural heritage' by UNESCO.

Since when has Fasnacht existed in Imst? No one can give a reliable answer to this question. The oldest known documents, referring to Fasnacht, date back to 1597 and 1610. It can be assumed however, that the tradition reaches back much further. Was it a Germanic rite? Was it pagan? One does not know. See for yourself and get an idea of this unique custom.


  • 06:30 church service
    07:30 Figatter
    08:30 Ausrufer
    09:30 Start of carnival
    12:00 Start of procession
    ca. 15:00 break
    17:30– 18:00 Concluding Circle at Stadtplatz

    Admission: € 8.00, youth up to 16 years free!

  • Visit Imster Fasnachtshaus Museum ...

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