Holidays in Austria in 2023
The following days are national holidays. In addition to them, there are also regional (land) holidays, but they usually concern only students and state employees.
Saturday is a day off for students, employees of enterprises and civil servants. Stores operate on a reduced schedule. Usually before 17:00 or 18:00
Sunday is a day off. But all tourist objects are open: museums, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants (not all). In addition, some grocery stores are available in the center of Salzburg: Billa on the embankment of the Salzach River in the old town (11:00 - 15:00), Spar at the Mozart House Museum (11:00 - 18:00), Spar at the railway station (9:00 - 22:00). From December to April, grocery stores are open on Sundays in ski resorts from 9:00 to 13:00. From June to September, grocery stores are open on Sundays and holidays in summer resorts, for example, in the lake district of Salzkammergut.
Banks are closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Currency can be exchanged only on weekdays.
In Austria, there are six periods of school holidays and two-semester periods. They start and end at different times depending on the land:
Salzburg, Tyrol, Burgenland, Carinthia, Vorarlberg: 13.02 - 19.02 (semester holidays), 01.04 - 10.04 (Easter holidays), 27.05 - 29.05 (Pentecost), 08.07 - 10.09 (summer holidays), 27.10-31.10 (autumn holidays), 24.12 - 06.01 (Christmas and winter holidays)
Vienna and Lower Austria: 04.02-12.02 (semester holidays), 01.04 - 10.04 (Easter holidays), 27.05 - 29.05 (Pentecost), 01.07 - 03.09 (summer holidays), 27.10 - 31.10 (autumn holidays), 15.11, 24.12 - 06.01 (Christmas and winter holidays)
Upper Austria, Styria: 20.02-26.02 (semester holidays), 09.04 - 18.04 (Easter holidays), 27.05 - 29.05 (Pentecost), 08.07 - 10.09 (summer holidays), 27.10 - 31.10 (autumn holidays), 24.12 - 06.01 (Christmas and winter holidays)
January 1 - New Year (Neujahr)
A day of rest and preparation for working days. A New Year's fair has been opened in the center of Salzburg, where you can have a delicious meal and improve your health. From noon relaxing symphonic music sounds from the stage in front of the cathedral.
Read: How to celebrate the New Year in Salzburg.
January 6 - The Holy Three Kings (Drei Könige)
A Catholic holiday dedicated to the three Magi Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, bearing gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) to the cradle of the infant Jesus Christ.
According to tradition, children, divided into groups, arrange carols from New Year to the Day of the Three Kings. Each group consists of three magi representing three continents, three races and ages, and a child carrying a "Star of Bethlehem" fixed on a pole. Nowadays, the presence of one adult is still mandatory. The so-called Sternsänger (Star Singers) go home, caroling, singing a Christmas carol, and reading poetry. It is customary to give monetary donations for this, which go to charity. On the doors of the house or apartment where the donation was made, the symbolism C + M + B (Christus Mansionem Benedicat) is written in chalk illuminated in the church, which means: Christ, bless this house.
April 9 - Easter (Ostersonntag) Sunday
April 10 - Easter Monday (Ostermontag) Monday
The most important Christian holiday. On Easter Eve, Easter lights are lit in churches, marking the rebirth of life. Easter, lamb-shaped cupcakes, cheeses, sausages, and eggs are consecrated during the festive service. It is customary to share blessed products with loved ones and have breakfast in the family circle. Easter bushes (Palmbusch) are also woven and consecrated for Easter, after which magnificent "palm processions" occur.
Read: Easter in Salzburg
May 1 is a public holiday (Staatsfeiertag)
Labor Day, Workers' Solidarity and Justice. On May 1, Austria also celebrates the beginning of the agricultural season with the installation of a maypole and Mother's Day, and Youth Day.
Read: Maypole Installation
May 18 - Ascension (Christi Himmelfahrt)
The return of Jesus Christ 40 days after the resurrection (Easter) to his Father in the kingdom of heaven. On this day, as a rule, church parishes arrange the rite of the first communion for children.
May 28 - Trinity (Pfingstsonntag) Sunday
May 29 - Pentecost (Pfingstmontag) Monday
The feast of the foundation of the Christian Church. During the festive procession, doves are released as a symbol of the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles. On this day, as a rule, a confirmation ceremony is held in church parishes, one of the seven sacraments of chrismation in the Catholic Church.
June 8 - Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Fronleichnam)
The holiday originated in the 13th century based on the vision of the nun of the Augustinian monastery Julianna of Liege. According to legend, the church appeared to her as a moon disk. A black spot appeared on the disk. The saint interpreted this as a lack of honoring the "Eucharist" - the transfiguration of the blood of Christ into wine and flesh into bread.
The buildings of churches are decorated with flowers and young birches for the holiday of the Frontline. After the service, the faithful go outside for a festive procession. Children and teenagers carrying bibles and crucifixes are at the procession's head. Behind them, honorary citizens hold a canopy (a symbol of heaven), under which a priest walks with a monstrance. For a holiday, they bake a special bread (the flesh of Christ), placed in a vessel inside the monstrance. Musicians and residents bring up the rear of the procession.
August 15 - Ascension of the Virgin (Mariä Himmelfahrt)
The ascension of the Virgin Mary's body and soul to heaven. It is customary to consecrate medicinal herbs, medicinal decoctions and healing ointments based on roots. Processions in the likeness of the Body and Blood of Christ are also common.
October 26 - Independence and Neutrality Day (Nationalfeiertag)
The event of the withdrawal of Allied and Soviet troops (1955) from the territory of Austria after World War II is celebrated. Then the basic principles of the new Austrian state were proclaimed: eternal neutrality and democracy. Small military parades are held in Vienna. The President congratulates the citizens. Thematic excursions are held. Tourists are shown government buildings from the inside. In the rest of Austria, October 26 is a typical day off.
November 1 - All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen)
November 1 is the day of remembrance of all saints and Christian martyrs, which originated in the 7th century after the transformation of the Pantheon (Temple to All the Gods) into the temple of the Virgin Mary and All the Martyrs. Young people celebrate Halloween in entertainment venues on the eve of All Saints' Day. In the "current" manner, children go mummified at home and caroling for gifts saying the phrase: Süsses oder Saueres (sweet or sour). November 2 is dedicated to all deceased loved ones and is called Allerseelen. November 1 and 2 are parents' days. Memorial ceremonies are held in cemeteries; candles are set at memorials, and graves are decorated with traditional decorations of autumn flowers, yew, boxwood, and mistletoe.
2.11 All Souls' Day (Allerseelen) is a day off for students and civil servants. Working day in the field of trade.
December 8 - Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (Maria Empfängnis)
Catholic holiday. The dogma of the birth of Mary, who did not inherit the original human sin of her parents Anna and Joachim. The Virgin Mary was predestined to become the mother of the son of God, Jesus Christ.
Official holiday but freewill working day for trade business
December 24 - Holy Evening (Heiliger Abend)
To give an even stronger sense of expectation of the imminent birth of Christ, the Holy Evening (Christmas Eve) has been celebrated in the church tradition since the 6th century. The last preparations for the Big Holiday are being completed on Christmas Eve. Gifts are placed under the Christmas tree, a small stable with the Christ child in a manger is installed, and images of angels called Christkindl are hung all over the house.
Holy Evening is a day of fasting. But in the modern world, people do not limit themselves much to food. It is customary to serve fried goose, turkey, fish or boiled beef Tafelspitz (Tafelspitz), drink hot wine and punch. By 23:00, believers go to church. At 00:00, people celebrate the Messiah, born under the ringing of bells. On this day, it is customary to make donations for good causes.
Working day. Shops and shopping centers operate on a reduced schedule (until 13:00)
December 25 - Christmas (Weihnachten)
Pope Gregory adopted the postulate of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 in the 4th century since the Bible does not specify an exact date.
Christmas is a family holiday. On this day, relatives and relatives spend time together. Some prefer a calm, relaxed day: to see photos, some favorite movies, or go for a walk. And someone spends time actively, having gone skiing, sledding or skating. A mandatory component of the holiday is attending a service in the church, after which gifts are presented. The Christmas market in the center of Salzburg is open on December 24, 25, and 26 until 15:00.
Shops and most restaurants are closed during the Christmas holidays!
December 26 - St. Stephen's Day (Stefanitag)
The day of St. Stephen (Stepan), the first Christian martyr, is celebrated on December 26. But for most Austrians, it's just the second day off after Christmas. On this day, they visit distant relatives and friends. In addition, horse races (Stefaniritt) are held in many villages and towns, after which priests bless the riders and horses.
December 31 - Silvester
Until the XVII century in Europe, different dates were taken for the beginning and end of the calendar year. In 1691, Pope Innocent XII established a standard: December 31 – the end of the year, and January 1 – the beginning of the year. Before the calendar reform in the Holy Roman Empire, the last day of the year was December 24, and the first day was January 6. Everything that was between them was called the "interlude." December 31 in Catholic countries is called Sylvester in memory of the day of the death of Pope Sylvester (335). New Year is celebrated with fireworks and fireworks. In many cities in Austria, pyrotechnics were abandoned in favor of a laser show. Friends and relatives give each other symbolic gifts: horseshoes with wishes stuffed on them, toy chimney sweeps and marzipan piglets.
The working day with a short schedule