Bidding the winter a loud farewell – that’s one way to summarise the custom of Grasausläuten. You could say that this spring tradition is a way of helping nature catch up. For farm folk, it is and was of great importance that the soil is able to bear fruit again after the long winter months – and luscious grass and colourful blooms are the first signs.
The custom of Grasausläuten is not actually observed on a particular date, although it is generally only practised after Easter Sunday. Usually, it’s on the Sundays following Easter (until late April/early May) when mainly the young lads in some communities in Tirol parade through the streets. This brings the saying dating back to the 15th Century, “you can hear the grass growing”, to life: loud chiming bells that are tied to the body are supposed to make the “grass” grow more quickly. The Grasausläuter move through the meadows and fields, and through the streets and alleys – often from morning until nightfall. They stop at selected farms and houses to ring the bells as loudly as possible. For this “service” the inhabitants reward the lads with edible treats or money.