The holiday season in Austria

Hello everyone,

Are you about to celebrate the holiday season in Austria? In many countries and cultures, the festive season is the time for happiness and reunions/gatherings. Is it so in Austria? How do Austrians celebrate this very special time of the year?

What about you? Will you spend the holiday season in your host country or in your home country? Will there be expat reunions/celebrations/parties in your region/town/area?

Thank you in advance for sharing!


Generally speaking Austrians tend to celebrate Christmas intimately at home with their closest family on 24th December. Christmas Day or Boxing Day (Stephanitag) they might visit their relatives or friends. I too try to keep to that tradition, but being in the tourist trade, there are still plenty of people who wish to celebrate Christmas and the New Year in a hotel. Good for business, but somewhat sad too in relation to Christmas. Could be their family are here, and they live further away and need somewhere to stay. I will be staying here for Christmas due to work commitments. Hope to celebrate New Year though with working colleagues/boss agreement.

The christmas hliday in Austria starts early Dec and goes through till the 12 night 6th Jan is a Holy holiday Christmas Day is Quiet and irs a family day. Christmas carols like Silent Night are sung in the homes with family.St Nicholas comes around the 8th Dec and leaves sweets in childrens shoes on the door step. He is eascorted ahead if him with scary creatures who will hit any one out on the street with stick ! They have cow bells tied around their backs that clang as they run up the street so you can get out of the road.
  New Year here where I am , has big celebrations and parties with fireworks from all villiages and mountain tops and ski slopes its a magic time of the year with advent Markets where yoz can get hit cooked chestnuts to keep your hadlnds warm in your pockets and a bit of warm Gluwien. Hot and spicy wine that warms the cockles. in all towns an villages and cities the shops are all decorated and streets are all dressed in Christmas lights , some wonderful carvings in wood life sized if the Nativity that are so beautiful. Chistmas here is Christ Mas:-)

For 36 years in Australia i missed. A propper Christmas with frosty nights and the Christmas i remembered as a child .

True! In Austria you do get proper seasons, not like the UK where every season seems to run into the next. Winters are cold and snowy, whereas summers can be hot and sunny. Christmas markets abound in Austria. The best is in Schönbrunn Vienna, or Salzburg, which are open full time. Innsbruck was slightly dissapointing, as is Graz.  Our local market is only open 3 days at the weekend, and only for 2 weeks. We do have one of the largest Krampus runs with over 800 taking part in Schladming. Then there is the Sternsänger parade in Stainach down the valley, where men dressed all in white - kids too - and wear beautiful hand made large hats in different shapes with motifs on them and lit up by candles,
Stunning. Usually January 6th. Austria has retained it's cultures, and has not yet become much globalised with the oh so dominant American culture.

New topic