It's hard to imagine Austrians celebrating anything, right? This isn't to say that they're not human or anything, but rather, they have very different ways of doing things. So much so that you probably can't think of them celebrating anything else apart from the normal, universal holidays that the rest of the world celebrates. But they do! Austria has a number of public holidays where they take the day off, celebrate, commemorate, and spend time with family. Some are also celebrated in other countries while a handful are significant just to the Austrians. Here are a few you might be interested in.
Ascension Day (Every May)
Ask any Christian around the world and they'd probably tell you that the important holidays relating to Jesus Christ are Christmas Day (His birth), Good Friday (His death), and Easter Sunday (His resurrection). Only a handful of countries really hold Ascension Day, the day Christ went up to heaven body & soul, to the same degree of significance. And Austria is part of that handful! Held every May, approximately 39 days after Easter Sunday, it's a particularly solemn day where most people go to church or attend special prayer services. Afterward, many would gather at home or in restaurants
and have a big feast with loved ones.
Labor Day (May 1)
As in any other country, Labor Day is pretty important to Austrians. Held every May 1, just like in France
, and any other European country, it's a special day where most working people get to take a break and relax. Even though Austria's job market
is not the biggest in the world, it's large enough to sustain the country as a whole. It's thanks to them that the country's economy remains stable and the living costs here aren't as high as in neighboring nations. So, of course, when you work in Austria
, you deserve to spend this day doing whatever you want!
Saint Rupert's Day (September 24)
St. Rupert of Salzburg is one of the most important religious figures in Austria. The first bishop of the state, he's regarded as one of the wisest holy men to ever live. So much so that his feast day, September 24, is actually a public holiday in Salzburg. On this day, Austrians in this region hear mass in churches or attend special novena prayer sessions devoted to St. Rupert. Many communities would also hold a procession with his statue, remind the rest of the country just how important he is to Austrian history and heritage.
European Heritage Days (Every September)
Speaking of Austrian heirtage, it's on full display during the last Sunday of September. Why? Because that day is Austria's European Heritage Day. It's at this time where people remember just how important their culture and their identity is, opening it all up for the whole world to see. During this holiday, most of the country's museums, landmarks, and monuments are open for free to the public. It's a chance for tourists and new residents to get to know the country better. To get to know its history in better detail. And to know what truly means to be an Austrian.
Plebiscite Day (October 10)
In the beautiful state of Carinthia, the celebrate Plebiscite Day. Held every October 10, it commemorates the day that finally separates Southern Austria—specifically the region of Carinthia—from what was then known as Yugoslavia. At the time, prior to and during World War I, this part of the world was dominated by Carinthian Slovenes. It was only then when this historic referendum happened in 1920 did the state of Carinthia officially belong to Austria. It marks the day that the people who've settled and lived here became Austrians and an integral part of the country. So it makes sense that people commemorate that day even until now!
National Day (October 26)
Every country has a national holiday and Austria is no exception! Theirs is on October 26, the day when the country officially declared permanent neutrality after World War II. That day, in 1955, Austria officially became its own sovereign nation, separate from Germany's fascist rule at the time. On this day, most Austrian banks
, government offices, schools, and more remain closed. People take a break from work and spend time with family and friends. And many churches hold special masses and prayer services. In the capital city of Vienna, people proudly take to the streets in a beautiful parade for the special occasion.
Reformation Day (October 31)
While many in the rest of the world celebrate Halloween on October 31, the Austrians are commemorating something else: Reformation Day. Though it does have a close relation to All Hallow's Eve, the true and less commercialized version of Halloween, Reformation Day is its own special religious holiday. It's mostly practiced in the Protestant faith, the last of the triduum of Allhallowtide. It commemorates the day the German monk Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenburg, Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. And while it's a bigger holiday in Germany, it's still a special day among Austrian Protestants too.
No matter what you may think about Austrians, they still have their own set of holidays that they celebrate and commemorate. They're ones you ought to know about if you have any plans on going here soon, whether just for a visit or relocation!
Whether you're with friends or family, it'd be nice to celebrate these holidays in a luxury rental
, right? Get one for yourself when you go to Austria!