Customs and traditions throughout Austria.

09.03.2022

Sometimes they are bizarre, often religiously motivated or have something to do with old crafts or highly specific regional peculiarities and lore of the local inhabitants: typical traditions and their upkeep are experiencing a revival (or were never really away) in many regions of Austria and are also included more and more often in touristic packages.

But it doesn’t always have to be old traditions and customs that have been handed down from time immemorial – the younger generations and their ideas are following suit. In recent years, “Lederhosen Thursday” has established itself among the young men of the city of Salzburg, for example. And it cannot be denied that Hallowe’en has also well and truly arrived in Austria. But our Perchten and Trommelweiber parades are of course every bit as good as these new trends – after all, they were already here long before.

Spring customs – Anticipating summer 

In my opinion, Austria’s spring customs and traditions are simply the most romantic. And no wonder, for it gets warm again, everything is blossoming and fragrant and, at last, romanticism and being in the great outdoors is a priority again after the long, cold winter months.

Busy Easter bunny in the field

Easter customs and other springtime traditions

When we are finally drawn out into the warmth again. 

In the months of spring, everything pulls us back out into the green: into the garden, the meadows and Alpine pastures. Almost all Austrian states have their local celebrations, such as the “flower carpets”, but Easter traditions have the upper hand everywhere. And raising the maypole is also very popular in all federal states.

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Summer is here!

Everything takes place outdoors in summer, both in the cities and in the countryside. We celebrate the summer solstice, the equinox, the flowers, the Alpine summer, the herbs – and there’s sometimes even a little “wrestling” involved traditionally. But there’s always a serious element in there somewhere.

Field of narcissi

Summer bonfires, parades and flower festivals

The main thing is to be out in the warmth and in the sunshine!

Is there anything more moving than watching the “burning peaks” of the summer bonfires from the valley or the river? Yes, on Trachtensonntag, giants stomp through the villages or the male inhabitants get to grips with each other: Naturally, all in the name of tradition ...

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When autumn arrives in all its colour ...   

There are plenty of traditional festivals in Austria in the autumn months, too. After all, the harvest is in, the animals come back down from the Alpine pastures and there’s a lot to be done. For time immemorial, the hard work has then been rewarded with the old customs.

Autumn mood in Austria

Autumn traditions

When the harvest is brought in and the celebrations can begin

Of course, in the past, the mot important thing about autumn was that the harvest was as successful and bounteous as possible. This is why many beautiful traditions surrounding harvest work still exist in Austria.

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Winter and carnival traditions – coming full circle.

When the Ausseerland locals speak of Fashing, or carnival, as being the fifth season, they are not exaggerating. Carnival is an exceptional time of year, in many regions of Austria and particularly on Faschigsdienstag (Shrove Tuesday). And some of the traditions might well give you a fright!

Shadowy Perchten in front of a winter fire

Glöckler, Perchten, Maschkera and Trommelweiber

The fifth season has a lot going on. Everywhere.

The Perchten parades, that can sometimes seem pretty wild indeed, are held in just about all federal states and are an indispensable part of carnival. Sometimes Perchten and Glöckler from different federal states will come together for a joint parade. And the magical Rauhnächte, the night before St Thomas’ Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and the night before Epiphany, are also major dates in the calendar.

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hotels: Hotel Europa Graz, Hotel Europa Salzburg, Hotel Congress Innsbruck, Hotel Schillerpark Linz, Hotel Beim Theresianum

Autor

Angelika Mandler-Saul

Angelika Mandler-Saul, who grew up in the Weinviertel region in Lower Austria, is a travel blogger and freelance author. Since 2013 she has been writing about her experiences and impressions while travelling throughout the world on www.wiederunterwegs.com. Her focus: nature and culture. She is regularly accompanied by her sooty black labrador Coffee, who is also good for many stories.
Angelika is particularly fond of travelling in her native country Austria, bringing her love of Austrian history and literature, travelling and writing under one roof. Travelling with culture: that sums it up precisely.

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