In some localities of East Tyrol, there is a very old tradition called “Krapfenschnappen” around All Saints’s Day.

One of the most interesting traditions of All Saints’ Day is the so called “Krapfenschnappen”. This custom includes young boys and men walking from door to door, wearing white shirts and a skin as well as a hat. In their hands they have got the so called “Schnapper”, a wooden stick with a head of an animal at the top. At its mandible a rope is attached and when the boys give it a tug, the mandible moves and makes fuss, rattling and clattering.

For doing this, the “Krapfenschnapper” are rewarded with delicious krapfen and pastries, which are considered to be a cultand blessing pastry, often also layed down on the graves. In appreciation of the gifts, the boys perform a poem or a song.

However, this custom is not performed in the same manner in all the villages where it is still in use. In Patriasdorf at Lienz for example, the boys must not reveal their identity and therefore have to adjust their voices or should not speak at all. In Kals, however, they thank for the gift by saying “Vergelt’s Gott für die Armen Seelen”.

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