Leonhardiritt Festival

A tradition for horsemen and equestrian enthusiasts from across the Salzburg region!

The Leonhardiritt Festival is held each year on a Sunday at or around November 6 at the pilgrimage church of St. Leonhard in Grödig at the base of the Untersberg.

In the early 1970’s, Father Franz Nikolasch encountered the Leonhardiritt tradition while visiting the Bavarian town of Bad Tölz, the birthplace of this festival to honor our patron saint, St. Leonhard. Father Nikolasch then organized the first Leonhardiritt procession in Grödig in 1975. Since that time, nearly 1000 visitors come annually to our festival that features numerous horses and carriages from across Austria and neighboring Bavaria. In 2012 the festival was expanded to include a pilgrimage in honor of St. Leonhard. The procession begins at the Mayr-Melnhofschen estate in Glanegg and continues via Eichet and Grödig to St. Leonhard.

In addition to riders, horse-drawn carriages, and whip crackers, many folk groups in traditional dress take part in this ornate procession.

In addition to a festive pilgrimage Mass, the event features a Kranzlstechen, or wreath-snatching competition. As part of this competition, riders in full gallop or carriage drivers traveling at full speed use a wooden sword to snatch-down a wreath hanging from a bar overhead.

In keeping with the tradition, local innkeepers offer culinary specialties, music and dancing on the square surrounding the pilgrimage church.

More information: Tourismusverband Grödig

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