Austria National Holiday: Celebrating Christmas in the Land of the Alps

Let’s talk about Austria National Holiday. Austria is a country known for its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. When it comes to celebrating Christmas, Austria has its unique traditions and customs that are cherished and loved by locals and tourists alike. Christmas in Austria is celebrated with enthusiasm, devotion, and a touch of magic that makes it an unforgettable experience.

In this article, we will explore the history, traditions, and customs of celebrating Christmas in Austria. We will also delve into the best places to celebrate Christmas in Austria and offer tips for traveling to the country during the holiday season.

History and Tradition of Austria National Holiday

Christmas is a significant holiday in Austria, celebrated with religious and cultural importance. The celebration of Christmas in Austria dates back to the Middle Ages when Christianity spread across the country. The advent period, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, is a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The Advent wreath, a circular wreath with four candles, is a common decoration during this period.

One of the most beloved Christmas traditions in Austria is the Nativity Scene, which depicts the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger. Nativity Scenes are displayed in churches and homes throughout the country, and many towns and cities have their versions of Nativity Scenes.

Christmas Markets in Austria

Austria is famous for its Christmas Markets, which are a major attraction during the holiday season. The markets offer a range of gifts, decorations, and food items. The most famous Christmas market in Austria is the Christkindlmarkt in Vienna, which dates back to the 13th century. The market features over 150 vendors selling traditional Austrian goods, and visitors can enjoy hot mulled wine and gingerbread while shopping for gifts.

Christmas Eve in Austria

In Austria, Christmas Eve is celebrated as the main event of the Christmas season. Families gather for a festive dinner and exchange gifts. It is also a tradition to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, where the story of the birth of Jesus is retold.

Traditional Austrian Christmas Foods

Austria is known for its delicious cuisine, and Christmas is no exception. Traditional Austrian Christmas foods include roasted goose or turkey, sausages, and dumplings. One of the most popular dishes is Weihnachtsgans, a roasted goose stuffed with apples, onions, and chestnuts. Another traditional dish is Tafelspitz, which is boiled beef served with horseradish sauce.

Austrian Christmas Desserts

Austria is famous for its desserts, and Christmas is the perfect time to indulge. Some of the most popular Christmas desserts in Austria include Linzer Torte, a tart made with ground almonds and raspberry jam, and Vanillekipferl, crescent-shaped cookies made with ground almonds, vanilla, and sugar.

Christmas Decorations in Austria

Austria is known for its beautiful Christmas decorations. The country is home to several Christmas decoration manufacturers, including the famous Swarovski Crystal company. Traditional decorations include handmade ornaments made of wood or glass, candles, and Advent wreaths.

Christmas Music in Austria

Music is an integral part of Christmas in Austria. The country is famousbfor its Christmas carols and choral performances. The most famous Christmas carol in Austria is “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night), which was composed in 1818 in the town of Oberndorf near Salzburg. Every year, the Silent Night Chapel in Oberndorf hosts a special Christmas Eve performance of the carol.

Christmas Events and Festivals in Austria

Austria hosts several Christmas events and festivals that attract visitors from all over the world. In Vienna, the Rathausplatz transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with ice skating rinks, festive markets, and live music performances. In Salzburg, the Old Town hosts a charming Christmas market, while Innsbruck boasts a market set against the backdrop of the majestic Alps.

Christmas Holidays in Austria: Things to Do

Apart from Christmas markets and events, there are several other things to do in Austria during the holiday season. Skiing is a popular winter activity in Austria, and many ski resorts offer Christmas specials and packages. In Vienna, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and visit the famous museums and art galleries.

Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Austria

Austria has several charming towns and cities that offer a magical Christmas experience. Innsbruck is a popular destination for skiing and winter sports, while Salzburg’s Old Town is perfect for a traditional Austrian Christmas. Vienna is home to some of the most famous Christmas markets in Europe, and visitors can also attend the Vienna Boys’ Choir Christmas concert.

Tips for Traveling to Austria during Austria National Holiday

If you are planning to visit Austria during the Christmas season, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Book your accommodation well in advance, as Christmas is a popular time to visit Austria.
  • Dress warmly and bring appropriate winter gear, as temperatures can drop below freezing.
  • Try the traditional Austrian Christmas foods and desserts, and don’t forget to sample the Glühwein (hot mulled wine).
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially during religious ceremonies and events.


Christmas in Austria is a magical and enchanting experience, filled with traditions, customs, and delicious food. From Christmas markets and events to skiing and winter sports, there is something for everyone during the holiday season in Austria. If you are planning a trip to Austria, consider visiting during Christmas and experiencing the festive cheer and warmth of the country.


  • What is the significance of the Advent wreath in Austria?

The Advent wreath is a symbol of the Advent period, which is a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The wreath has four candles, which are lit on each Sunday before Christmas.

  • What is Weihnachtsgans?

Weihnachtsgans is a traditional Christmas dish in Austria, which is a roasted goose stuffed with apples, onions, and chestnuts.

  • What is the most famous Christmas carol in Austria?

The most famous Christmas carol in Austria is “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night), which was composed in 1818.

  • What are some popular Christmas events in Austria?

Some popular Christmas events in Austria include the Christkindlmarkt in Vienna, the Salzburg Christmas Market, and the Innsbruck Christmas Market.

  • What are some tips for traveling to Austria during Christmas?

Some tips for traveling to Austria during Christmas include booking your accommodation in advance, dressing warmly, trying the traditional Austrian Christmas foods, and being respectful of local customs and traditions.


  • “Christmas in Austria.”, Austrian National Tourist Office,
  • “Stille Nacht.” Silent Night Association,
  • “Vienna Christmas Markets.” Vienna Tourism,

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