Fasching Procession in Imst

The famous Imst Schemenlaufen carnival procession is scheduled for 09 February this year. The medieval carnival custom only takes place once every four years.

According to tradition, it is reserved for men only and has been part of Austria’s intangible cultural heritage since 2010.

There is hardly anywhere else in the Alpine region where carnival processions still have such traditional energy as in the Ferienregion Imst. For many people in Imst the Schemenlaufen (09.02.20) is the most important non-religious holiday in the next four years.

The preparations take months. About 900 Imster men – about ten percent of the population – are involved.

Even though some female figures are also depicted, the expressive, wood-carved larvae (masks) are worn only by men, as tradition dictates. The wives and friends of the participants play a decisive role in the creation of the magnificent robes.

The spectacle begins in the morning with the carnival mass in memory of the deceased Fasnachtler. The mood soon lightens again, when the criers and fanfare blowers on horseback announce the beginning of the carnival.

The witches in the Imst Fasching procession.
The witch mother leads the band of witches dancing to their strange music.
© Imst Tourismus | Franz Oss

As soon as the big bell of the Imst parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary rings at noon, the convoy moves towards the lower town.

The historic small town of Imst is a particularly beautiful piece of Tyrol and is known for its authentic customs and rich culture.

It lies in the Upper Inn Valley between the Ötztal, Stubai and Lechtal Alps and can be reached toll-free from Germany via Garmisch Partenkirchen and Füssen.

More information: www.imst.at