Scary “Krampalar” devils and soothing melodies

A familiar scene emerges at the end of the year in St. Anton am Arlberg: temperatures sink and spirits rise - thanks not only to the fabulous snow conditions. The many traditional events during the Advent season also create a lively atmosphere in the Tyrolean holiday region. As the lifts and pistes in and around St. Anton am Arlberg open during the Stanton Ski Open, irrepressible Christmas cheer is evoked away from the slopes with snow crunching underfoot, classic sounds and “formidable" customs.

Christmas in St. Anton am Arlberg
Christmas in St. Anton am Arlberg ©TVB St. Anton am Arlberg

The bells will ring for the first time on 1st December 2019 during Advent Magic in the Park. Five more dates will follow until just before Christmas Eve. Themed areas invite you to linger along the “Christmas Adventure Trail” and snack on traditional “Kiachla” (sweet or savoury filled doughnuts). Children can enjoy handicraft sessions at the elves workshops or bake their favourite cookies, while locals tell Christmas tales in a quaint log cabin.

A few weeks before Christmas, visitors have the opportunity to experience an extraordinary tradition in St. Anton am Arlberg. Young lads in fearsome costumes accompany St. Nicholas through the streets of St. Anton on the evening of 5th December during the Arlberg Pass Krampalar “Devil’s” Run: The Krampalar, as they are called in St. Anton, wear gruesome carved masks and a so-called “Devil’s skin”. Those who have not been well behaved this year will have to watch out!

See out the old year in Tyrolean style: Wiltener Boys Choir Christmas Concert on 27th December 2019 in the great Arlbergsaal Hall provides the perfect setting to bring 2019 to a close in festive style. This choir is one of the oldest and most traditional boys’ choirs in the Alps, whose history dates back to the 13th Century. Conducted by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Streicher, President of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and honorary citizen of St. Anton, the annual Arlberg New Year’s Concert takes place on Thursday, 2nd January 2020. Ambassade Vienna Orchestra perform classical melodies of the highest standards, while the World Cup Hall at Arlberg WellCom provides the perfect acoustic setting.

A great vibe can be felt on the slopes in front of the Karl Schranz Finish Stadium from the end of December. The snow-covered finish area acts as an oversized outdoor cinema, while 150 performers portray a fast forward performance of the history of winter sport on skis. Every week, St. Anton am Arlberg Tourist Board, together with Skischule Arlberg and the Arlberger Bergbahnen Cable Car Co present the 45-minute long “The Snow must go on” ski show in the Karl Schranz Finish Stadium. The premiere takes place on 30th December 2019 and from 8th January 2020, the show is performed every Wednesday at 21 hrs, admission is free. Those who prefer can follow the colourful events from the comfort of the Show Lounge, or “open air” from the stadium roof. Limited tickets cost € 35.- per person, which includes a buffet and drinks.

An overview of events in December and January 2019/20

23.11.2019 Advent Market and “Krampus” Devil’s Procession in Flirsch
29.11.-01.12.2019 Stanton Ski Open
01.12.2019 Advent Magic in the Park
05.12.2019 22nd Arlberg-Pass “Krampalar” Devil’s Run
06.12.2019 Advent Magic in the Park
06.12.2019 Children’s “Krampus“ Devil Run in Pettneu 
07.12.2019 Advent Market in Pettneu
08.12.2019 Advent Magic in the Park
08.12.2019 Pettneu Advent Songs at Pettneu Parish Church
14.-15.12.2019 Nativity scene exhibition in Strengen
15.12.2019 Advent Magic in the Park
21.12.2019 Advent Magic in the Park
22.12.2019 Advent Songs in Strengen
22.12.2019 Advent Magic in the Park
27.12.2010 Wiltener Boys Choir Concert
30.12.2019 Ski Show “Schneetreiben – The Snow must go on“
03.01.2020 Arlberg New Year’s Concert
from 08.01.2020 Ski Show “Schneetreiben – The Snow must go on“ every Wednesday

St. Anton am Arlberg is one of the world’s most renowned winter sports resorts. Snow hungry skiers and freeride fans from over 50 nations visit this mountain village and ski area with a total of 305 kilometres of marked runs, 200 kilometres of freeride terrain and 88 lift and cable car systems every year. The Arlberg-Arena extends from St. Anton in Tyrol to Lech and Zürs, as well as Warth and Schröcken in Vorarlberg. Cross-country skiing, tobogganing or a tour of one of Tyrol’s most beautiful winter via ferrate routes are just as inherent to the inimitable Arlberg experience as its iconic events, international World Cup races and multi-award-winning Tyrolean cuisine. The “birthplace of alpine skiing” is also a founding member of the “Best of the Alps“; a quality association of the 13 most prestigious mountain resorts in the Alps.