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    • Festivals in Austria


       Austria has a culture steeped in tradition, and throughout the country all through the year are festivals that pay homage to saints, composers, literary greats, and festivals just for an excuse to get together for good music, wine, food and fun. We have listed some of the most popular festivals that can be found throughout Austria. Even the local  festivals in small villages can be quite fun. Try to incorporate them into your tour!


       Kolsass-Weer (Tirol)
      *   3-day Musicfest and foodfest (dates to be confirmed)
      *   International Sculpture Day (date to be confirmed)

      Salzburg (Salzburgerland)           
      *   Salzburg Music Festival 19 July - 01 September 2013

      Kaiserwinkl (Tirol)
      *   Cheese Festival -  May, 2014 (dates to be advised)

      Styriarte: June 21 - July 21, 2013

      Annualy June/July in Graz
      stryriarte - the Styrian Festival:
      Every year since 1985, when the styriarte was founded, musicians from all over the world have flocked to Graz to participate in old-fashioned music-making with the much-admired genius loci, Nikolaus Harnoncourt. And despite his ever-increasing renown as one of the top-flight conductors, Harnoncourt puts much time and energy into “his” festival. This year, for instance, he managed to persuade one of the prominent directors of German-language theater, Andrea Breth, to direct a scenic performance of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”; Harnoncourt will conduct the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; a number of well-established as well as up-and-coming opera singers will perform this romantic opera. Among the performers assembling in Graz to celebrate the spirit of musical togetherness are such great artists as violinist Christian Altenburger, baritone Florian Boesch, soprano Ildiko Raimondi, viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, Musica Antiqua Köln, the Concentus Musicus Vienna, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.


      Bregenz Festival
      Annually, July 17 to August 18, 2013

      It must have been the wonderful location of the city by the lake and the beautiful environment that made a couple of clever minds set up a stage on two barges in 1946, calling the Bregenzer Festspiele to life. The lake and the surrounding countryside were thus to be a central part of all productions from the start. 60 years later the Bregenzer Festspiele is an integrated part of Austrian culture, and the lakeside stage is the largest of its kind.

      For four weeks in summer audiences can experience monumental open-air opera productions in an unknown intensity. No wonder the producers of the 2008 James Bond film "Quantum of Solace" were excited by this spectacular setting when looking for locations. Filming took place for two weeks in the old town of Feldkirch and at the Bregenz lakeside stage, with its huge Tosca eye watching the excitement. The Tosca venue formed the background for the key scene of the film, and Puccini's music was used for the dramatic soundtrack.

      Theatre and opera performances, orchestra concerts, and numerous other events contribute to the festival's bold artistic profile. This successful approach will be continued in future years.


       Austrian Harvest Festival

      In Austria - Saint Leopold's feast day marks the start of the heurigen, the new wine season.

      People celebrate the day with outdoor wine tastings and wine picnics, often accompanied by live music. This is the day for the pilgrimage to Klosterneuberg Abbey, home of the eminent wine called Leopolsberg which the vintner monks have been making for centuries.

      Leopold's Day custom called Fasselrutschen, "sliding down the cask", involves an enormous 12,000 gallon wooden barrel, commissioned by the abbot for Klosterneuberg's wine cellar in 1704. One by one people climb to the top of the cask and slide down its smooth wooden side for good luck. The rougher the side the better the luck it is said. Its reputation is as a "great leveler". Hundreds of people line up for a turn all from different classes and ENGINEs.

      All Austria
      *   Christkindlmaerkte (Christmas Markets) 2013
           Generally from 12 Nov until 24 Dec.
      *   Fasching 20014

      Advent in Austria

      The weeks from late November to the end of the year hold a very special meaning in Austria. Visit Austria's christmas markets and enjoy the spirit of christmas...

      Austria is a fascinating country to visit at any time of the year. But the weeks from late November to the end of the year hold a special meaning and let you become familiar with some of the most beautiful aspects of the country: deep-rooted folk traditions come alive in colorful, romantic events.

      Advent, the period of preparation for the festival honoring the birth of Christ, begins on a Sunday four weeks before Christmas Eve. This is the day when in living rooms all over the country advent wreaths, woven from evergreen twigs and decorated with ribbons and four candles, are hung or prominently placed. On each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, one more candle on the wreath is lit at dinnertime, many families pray, read Christmas stories or sing carols together.

      Christmas markets are a long-standing and typically Austrian tradition. In Vienna, for instance, the market is held in the large square in front of City Hall. This market can be traced in old documents back to the year 1298. Innsbruck opens its romantic Christmas market in the narrow medieval square at the foot of the Golden Roof. In Salzburg, the Christmas market takes over the square in front of the Cathedral with its picturesque stalls, while the tree vendors occupy Residenzplatz on the side of the huge Cathedral. Howeer almost every small town has its own Christmas market.

      The Christmas tree comes to Austrian homes only on Christmas Eve, December 24. While the children are out, parents set up the tree, decorate it and then lock the room. After dusk, the ringing of a bell announces that the Christkindl has just flown by and instructed the helping angels to leave the presents for the little ones. The door opens, the room is bathed in the warm, flickering light of the candles, everyone sings a verse or two of Silent Night, and the cheerful giving and unwrapping begins.


      Festival dates


      April 26 - 30, 2013:

      May 10 -June 16, 2013:
      Wiener Festwochen

      June 21 - July 21, 2013:

      June 17 - July 10, 2013:
      Jazzfest Wien

      July 11 - August 24, 2013:
      Carinthischer Sommer

      July 11 - August 11, 2013:
      ImPulsTanz Festval

      July 10 - August 25, 2013:
      Opernfestspiele St. Margarethen

      June 29 - 31, 2013:
      Glatt & Verkehrt

      July 17 - August 18, 2013:
      Bregenzer Festspiele

      July 19 - September 1, 2013:
      Salzburger Festspiele

      July 9 -August 25, 2013:
      Innsbruck - Festwochen der Alten Musik

      August 16 - September 8, 2013:
      Musikfestival Grafenegg

      August 29 - September 3, 2013:
      Ars Electronica Festival