ST. STEFAN'S DAY
On Stefan’s day, which is celebrated on the 26th of December, the traditional St. Stefan’s ride takes place. The horses are blessed to be protected from harm by their patron Stefan. The ride goes around the church and is performed in all three paces (walk, trot and gallop).
It’s believed that the custom of riding around the churches has retained because the horses have to remain in the stable for the whole winter and this festivity is a good possibility to bring them into fresh air. Formerly, the horses were decorated with red ribbons. St. Stefan should take them under his care.
On this local holiday also the horses’ blessing with salt and water takes place. The holy Stefan’s water is known as a common remedy against numerous illnesses and the blessed salt should prevent the horses from diseases.