Search Navigation Map

Why is Pentecost celebrated? - Traditions and customs in South Tyrol

Pentecost is a holiday, everyone knows that. But why actually? We have pursued the question of what exactly is celebrated at Pentecost and which Pentecost traditions are still alive in South Tyrol.

Pens in the Sarntal
Pens in the Sarntal
Astfeld im Sarntal
Astfeld im Sarntal

Pentecost is also referred to as the "Festival of the Holy Spirit" and plays a very significant role in the Christian faith. The term "Pentecost" comes from the Greek word "pentekosté", which means as much as the fiftieth, marking the end of the Easter period after 50 days. The festival probably dates back to Shavuot, a Jewish festival, where the first harvest of the year was celebrated. Countless pilgrims came to Jerusalem for this occasion, and according to the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit appeared to the believers there.

Symbolically for the Holy Spirit a white dove is very common, although it does not play a role in the biblical story, where instead the symbols fire and flames are mentioned. In addition, the Pentecost ox or the peonies are associated with this festival, with these symbols referring to the season. At Pentecost, the cattle were driven back to the alpine pastures after the harsh winter months, and the peony is considered a sign of maternal love, comfort, and healing.

South Tyrolean Pentecost Customs

In South Tyrol there are some ancient customs around Pentecost, such as in Mühlwald, where on this festival day the Holy Spirit is swung in a circular motion over the churchgoers. Especially in olden times, when very few people could read and write, these traditions helped to explain the story of salvation in a pictorial way. In the Sarntal Valley, the so-called "Pfingischtgrungln" are prepared for Pentecost, consisting of a dough made of flour, milk, water, egg, schnapps, and salt as well as a poppy seed filling. The Pfingischtgrungln are then fried in hot fat, sometimes using Kloatzen (dried pears) instead of the poppy seed filling. In the past, maids received some Grungln at Pentecost, which they then passed on to their lovers. But even today, they are still prepared in many households.

How do you like the content of this page?
Please give us your feedback!

Recommended accommodations

Icon Vacation apartment



The Pichlerhof in Racines/Ratschings offers you cozy, modern and comfortably furnished vacation apartments in a prime location.

Request   Details

Homepage   Heart icon notice
Icon Wellness Hotel Icon Hiking Hotel Icon Ski Hotel Icon Hotels for Lovers

Hotel Sonklarhof

Ridanna ★★★★

A sports and wellness paradise in the fabulous Ridanna Valley

Request   Details

Homepage   Heart icon notice
Icon Hiking Hotel Icon Hotels for Lovers Icon Boutique Hotel

ADLER Historic Guesthouse

Bressanone ★★★★

Im Herzen der Domstadt Brixen liegt das ADLER Historic Guesthouse. Ein Ort der Freiheit, an dem Sie Emotionen erleben, die bleiben, und viele Möglichkeiten haben, Stadt, Land und Berge zu erkunden.

Request   Details

Homepage   Heart icon notice
Icon Family Hotel Icon Hiking Hotel Icon Ski Hotel

Hotel Bergblick

Racines ★★★

Welcome to the Hotel Bergblick: your hotel in Ratschings We warmly welcome you in our family-run hotel in Ratschings. Here you will find rest and relaxation in a beautiful setting. The Hotel Bergblick is situated at an altitude of 1,250 meters and is the starting point of numerous hiking trails. Only 1 km from Bichl and 10 km from Sterzing, you live here idyllically but centrally located. Ratschings-Giovo (ca. 1,2 km), Rosskopf Sterzing (ca. 15 km) and Ladurns Pflersch (ca. 25 km) are three ...

Request   Details

Homepage   Heart icon notice
Hotel of the
Hotel Plunhof

★★★★sAlto Adige

Hotel Plunhof
  • most family-friendly wellness hotel
  • enjoy the winter landscape
  • cross-country skiing paradise
  • Spa Minera Acqua Minera
  • spicy wines
  • be active together

Vacation Offers

The best
more on this topic
Advent in the Silver Region Karwendel
Tyrol in Advent: Selected highlights for your vacation
Sacred Heart Fire
Photo: Wikipedia-User: Noclador - GFDL
The top South Tyrolean cultural events
Easter in Imst
© Foto: Imst Tourismus (Abdruck honorarfrei)
Easter in Imst
Palm donkey procession in Thaur
© Palmeselprozession in Thaur
Palm Donkey Procession in Thaur
The blue apron
© Südtirol Marketing/Stefano Scatà
The blue apron
Imster Schemenlaufen
Photo: TVB Imst - Lizenz: CC BY-ND 2.0
Lived Tradition - Unique Customs in Tyrol
Zusslrennen in Prad
Foto: ©
The Zussl Race in Prad at the Stelvio Pass
Doggln traditional footwear from Tyrol
© Alpbachtal Seenland Tourismus
Doggln – traditional footwear from Tyrol
Advent in the Silver Region Karwendel
Advent in the Silver Region Karwendel
Tavern signs in Tyrol and South Tyrol
Foto: © WanderGroschi & CGK
Inn signs in Tyrol and South Tyrol
The Haydn Orchestra
© Das Haydn Orchester
The Haydn Orchestra
Martini in South Tyrol
Foto: © Dieter Schütz -
Martini in South Tyrol
Wind music band
Kurverwaltung Meran - CC BY-SA 2.0
Tyrolean Brass Music
Cattle on the Alpine pasture
Photo: Madeleine Schäfer - GNU-FDL
Alpine farming in Tyrol and South Tyrol
Christmas Market Brixen
Tourismusverein Brixen
Medieval Christmas in Klausen
Almabtrieb Kufstein
Photo: Wikipedia-User: Saharadesertfox - GFDL
Cattle drive in Tyrol and South Tyrol
Rifle company - salute of honor
Photo: Wikipedia-User: Henryart - GFDL
The Tyrolean Riflemen
Photo: flickr-User: digital cat - CC BY 2.0
Sundials in South Tyrol
Tyrolean Hat
Photo: Wikipedia-User: Axelator - Public Domain
The Tyrolean Hat
Sacred Heart Fire
Photo: Wikipedia-User: Noclador - GFDL
Sacred Heart Fire in Tyrol
Bell casting in Tyrol
© Torsten Bolten CC BY-SA 3.0
Bell Casting in Tyrol
“Auskehren“ in Imst

In addition to the large and colorful ‘Schemenlaufen‘, another ‘classic‘ carnival custom enjoys great popularity in Imst: the sweeping out on Shrove Tuesday.

more More infos…

Top Hotels