Christmas in Austria
Dreaming of a white Christmas in Austria? We don’t blame you! Spend your days skiing, making snow angels, visitng Christmas Markets, and enjoying some glühwein. Does it sound like Christmas in every other European country? While it might, we promise you Christmas in Austria is something special. Read on to see what we’re talking about!
The Krampus Run is a Christmas tradition in the alpine area of Austria. The Germanic word “krampen” means “crawl”, and in our local dialect it means, “withered”. There are many names for Krampus, and in Salzburg he’s called “Perchten”. A group of Krampus is called a “Pass”.
Krampus is usually followed by Saint Nicholas, who bring gifts to the children. When it gets dark, the kids go “Krampus-hunting” as a way to show their courage. The best way to describe a Krampus? Scary, loud, and unique. Alongside a scary mask, Krampus wears big bells on their backs, used to send the winter devils to hell. We told you Christmas in Austria was different!
The tradition starts the end of November and goes until mid December, and few additional nights called “Rauhnaechte” happen in mid January. If you want to witness one of these runs, we recommend checking out the Ares Pass, not far from Salzburg.
Lebkuchen and Glühwein
This will no doubt be the tastiest part of your Christmas as the Austrians love to bake sweets during the holiday season. You must try the famous German biscuit, Lebkuchen, which can be found in all Christmas markets. Combine it with a delicious cup of glühwein, which is a traditional hot, mulled wine. If you’re interested in more info about Christmas Markets in Europe, click here.
Ball Season in Vienna
Viennese people absolutely love to dance! Vienna hosts over 400 balls each winter, bringing over 300,000 dancers from all over the world. Attendees would wear masks and costumes, giving the ball a Carnival-like feeling. Initially an event for the noble class in the 18th century, Emperor Joseph II opened the event to anyone who wanted to attend. As a tourist, you can attend as well! If you want to participate, remember there are strict and formal dress codes. It won’t hurt you to know how to do a proper Waltz, either!
Skiing in Salzburg
When you think of the Alps you typically think of winter sports. There’s several options, such as snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledding, and many others! Skiing is Austria’s number one winter sport passion. Just pick a place and let the adventure begin!
Where to stay in Austria
If you’re looking for a great hostel to stay in for your Christmas in Austria, check out YoHo International Youth Hostel in Salzburg!