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.

Salzburg, Graz, Linz, Wien, Innsbruck

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    The Almabtrieb (everywhere where there are Alpine pastures)

    Cows, sheep, horses, goats – they are all brought back down from the 8,000 Austrian Alpine pastures and celebrated virtually all over, with the animals being festively decorated. The Alpine summer is then officially over for another year, the cattle end their summer vacation and after the Gru night – the last before the animals are brought down into the valleys – there is much music-making, singing, hiking and eating. Especially elaborate cattle drives can be seen in Tyrol, but there is also much to see in Salzburg and Styria.

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    Yet another tradition from Salzkammergut that has made it on to the intangible world heritage list. 3 October is celebrated in Ischl as the day on which masters used to give their employees a roast pork (”Bratl”) to mark the start of officially having to work once again by artificial light. These days, those with “round” birthdays meet up in Bad Ischl for a joint outing.

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    Roast goose, lantern parades and the Martiniloben

    11 November is the feast of St Martin and is associated with a myriad of traditions throughout Austria. The best known are the eating of St Martin’s goose, children’s lantern parades and the “Martiniloben”, i.e. fine food with even finer wines – in Burgenland.

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    Harvest thanksgiving

    Harvest thanksgiving is so popular these days that there is even a huge harvest thanksgiving festival at the Rathausplatz in Vienna (yes, there are farms and vineyards around here, too). Of course, the priority here is a lot of delicious eating and drinking. The harvest thanksgiving festivals are held right across the country and were originally also a religious event. The people thanked God and nature for the gifts of the harvest and processions, parades and pilgrimages were and still are always a part of this.

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