Corpus Christi procession – The world-famous on lake Hallstatt

Corpus Christi procession Hallstatt

Corpus Christi procession Hallstatt. Imagine a scene where the people of Hallstatt decorate their “Fuhren”, traditional boats of the fjord-like lake, with fresh beech leaves and flowers. They dress up in festive costumes and celebrate Corpus Christi, a feast that commemorates Jesus’ last supper. This feast is always on the second Thursday after Pentecost.

The religious holiday of the Christian world on the 2nd Thursday of June. ⛪️⛪️⛪️ In many regions, it is celebrated with prayers, speeches and later parades in the church, accompanied by the priest. It was a celebration of the belief that Jesus was always with them. In areas on the lake shore such as Hallstatt, special ceremonies are also held on the lake. 🧑‍🌾👩‍🌾👩‍🌾 People participate in these ceremonies with their local clothes. 🛶🛶🛶 It was great to be able to see this celebration in Hallstatt today in glorious weather.

But what makes this feast so special in Hallstatt? It’s the fact that the procession takes place on the lake, not on land. This tradition dates back to almost 400 years ago, when the small town on the salt pan had so little space on land that they moved the procession to the water with boats and salt ships. This also gave them a view of the Salzberg, the thousand-year-old workplace of the Hallstatt residents. The Salzberg is home to the world’s oldest working salt mine, which has been producing salt since the Bronze Age. The salt mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.

A unique cultural experience

The feast begins with a high mass in the Catholic parish church in today’s World Heritage town. If the weather is nice, the procession then leads to the colorfully decorated market square and then sets off from the shore with the festive “Himmelsfuhre”. Four blessing stations are celebrated on Lake Hallstatt with singing and prayer. What a touching spectacle! What an experience when the echo of the salvos of Hallstatt’s pillories breaks from one rock wall to another, when the colorful procession majestically glides over the calm lake. Corpus Christi in the Salt Chamber, especially in Hallstatt, is not an absolute highlight only for devout Catholics. The Hallstatt lake procession is known far beyond the borders of Austria and visitors come from all over the world.

The Corpus Christi procession shooters have to get up early

Another design element of the procession are the Hallstatt Corpus Christi shooters. They announce the most important parts of the procession with their pillory stations named after saints. With three shots before the gospel and blessing of each station, they announce the importance of the upcoming minutes. The men of Corpus Christi shooters, however, have to get up a little earlier. They start shooting at 6 o’clock in the morning on the outskirts of Hallstatt and then drive across the lake every 15 minutes closer to the church, whose entrance they accompany with their shots at 9 o’clock.

How to join or watch the Corpus Christi procession

If you want to join or watch the procession, you have several options. You can take a funicular from the village to the salt mine and enjoy a panoramic view of the lake and the town. Or take a boat cruise on the lake and see the procession from a different perspective. You can also rent a boat and explore the lake on your own. However, you cannot join one of the boats in the procession as they are only for locals and participants. In case of bad weather, the procession will take place on land instead of on water.

Corpus Christi procession on the ship 2024

Join the boat! Do you dream of seeing the world famous Corpus Christi procession on Lake Hallstatt? Don’t miss this chance to join the annual church festival on the fjord-like mountain lake. You can board the pleasure boat of the “Hallstätter Seeschiffahrt” and enjoy this unique spring experience. Instead of watching from the shore, you can be right in the middle of the action. You can admire the festively decorated boats up close. You can have an unforgettable holiday experience of a very special kind. Come on board!

Details for joining the boat on Corpus Christi 2024

DateDepartureTimePrices for individuals
Thursday, 30th May 2024Landing stage “Lahn” (near Hallstatt Tourist Office) & “Markt” (centre)10:15 hrs. (both ships)Adults: 25.- Euro / per person <br> Children: 15.- Euro / per person

The sequence of events for the procession

  • At 9 o’clock, a solemn mass takes place in the Catholic Church of the Parish
  • The first blessing station is located at the colorful market place of Hallstatt
  • The procession then begins on the lake Hallstatt with decorated boats
  • The final blessing station is also at the market place of Hallstatt

When is next Corpus Christi procession in Hallstatt?

The next Corpus Christi procession in Hallstatt will be on Thursday, 30th May 2024. It will start with a high mass in the Catholic parish church at 9:00 a.m. and then continue with a procession on the lake at 10:00 a.m.. The procession will again consist of several boats decorated with flowers and garlands, and four blessing stations on the lake. The event expects to attract many visitors from all over the world who want to witness this unique cultural tradition.

Some Q&A about Corpus processions?

Q: What is Corpus Christi? 

A: Corpus Christi is a Christian feast that celebrates the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, that is, his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Q: When is Corpus Christi processsion ? 

A: Corpus Christi takes place on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, or the Sunday following this, depending on the local custom. It is usually 60 days after Easter.

Q: How is Corpus Christi celebrated? 

A: Corpus Christi is a celebration with a high mass and a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, which is the consecrated host displayed in a monstrance. The procession goes through the streets of the town or city, accompanied by singing and prayer. The procession stops at four blessing stations, where the priest blesses the people with the Blessed Sacrament. It ends with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the church.

Q: What is the origin of Corpus Christi? 

A: Corpus Christi was proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church, to Pope Urban IV in the 13th century, as a feast focused solely on the Eucharist. Pope Urban IV established the feast in 1264, after recognizing the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, where a consecrated host bled on a corporal (a cloth used during mass). The feast was extended to the whole Catholic Church by Pope Clement V in 1311.

Q: What is the significance of Corpus Christi? 

A: Corpus Christi is a feast that honors and adores Jesus in his Real Presence in the Eucharist. By celebrating Corpus Christi, we show our gratitude for his sacrifice on the cross and his gift of himself in the sacrament. We also testify to our faith in his presence and share him with the world. We remember that we are called to be his body, his church, and his witnesses in our daily lives.

You can read more about Corpus Christi processions and celebrations