“Festivities should be celebrated as and when they come” – goes an old saying which couldn’t be any better suited to Austria. Therefore, now we proudly present… our traditional Celebration culture!
Austrians like to celebrate – ideally everything and everyone, so to speak. Who, after all, knows when there will be the next opportunity for getting together and spending a few enjoyable hours with friends, family or colleagues? Regardless of whether with a small and intimate gathering with our nearest and dearest or a big sociable get-together outside of the home, life is there for celebrating!
We have many festivities – these are led, of course, by our bank holidays,
(with special emphasis on Christmas and Easter), and personal birthdays, weddings and other occasions. Such days are much loved in Austria and are also often lavishly celebrated. On days off, people like to eat together and make a big meal, true to the motto, “Speis’ und Trank bringen die Leut’ z‘amm” (“Food and drink bring people together”). Austrians like to serve home-made dishes best – for sweet-toothed cats Biskuitroulade (Swiss Roll), Linzer Torte, Cabbage Strudel and spicy gourmet-lovers Grammelpogatscherl (Yeast Dough and Greaves Mini Rolls)!
On one day of the year all mothers and fathers are celebrated and on this day they are spoilt with culinary delicacies. In many places they will be presented with a light and fluffy sponge roll or a Marmorgugelhupf (Marble Cake) and home-made is always the best way to say “I love you”! Here we must not, of course, forget Valentine’s Day-Celebration – the day of lovers. Or our all-sided popular mother and father’s day. How about a Kokosbusserl (Coconut Kiss) for everyone?
There’s also a good reason why Halloween is followed by Faschingszeit (Shrovetide/carnival period), also known as the “fifth season”. During this period people have fun and get dressed up and celebrate life in general with delicious treats such as the famous Faschingskrapfen (Doughnuts) or the traditional Strauben (Funnel Cake). This all culminates in Shrove Tuesday. The origins of the most defining time lie in the customs of the Catholic church. In medieval ages people weren’t allowed to eat meat, cheese, milk, fat or butter in the fasting period leading up to Easter which is why people would indulge before this. Shrovetide is celebrated with music, dance, plenty of delicious food and alcohol and the celebrating then comes to an end on Ash Wednesday.
The famous Oktoberfest-Celebration (October beer festival) which is celebrated annually in the autumn, on the Kaiserwiese in the Prater park and based on the festival of our German neighbours in Munich, is also a good example of how well the Austrians can celebrate. Here hearty Wiesn delicacies are served including crispy Stelze (Knuckle of Pork), succulent Brathendl (Roast Chicken), Cheese Noodles or tangy Steckerlfisch (Grilled Fish). All, of course, accompanied by a big jug of beer! Anyone with a sweet tooth, meanwhile, will love the fluffy jam-filled Buchteln (Yeast Dumplings) and famous light Kaiserschmarrn (Pancake).
The classic Gingerbread (Lebkuchen) heart is a popular souvenir to take home and also a great fashion accessory. Upheld customs, timeless traditions and a sociable nature which is embodied by cheerful people with big appetites and a colourful diversity of dialects – that’s the Austrian Celebration culture!
So, as you can see, we have the right recipe for every festivities! Are you already celebrating or are you still thinking about it?
Let’s get the celebration started!