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Christmas in St MichaelCHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR in the LUNGAU VALLEY

Huts selling hot food and drink

Christmas in Austria is truly magical.  At this time of year the snow covered towns are adorned with decorations, the smell of warm Gluhwein and winter spice is everywhere and huge fir trees covered in lights are placed in prominent locations in every town.

Adventmarket Christmas Displays

The beginning of December brings the Christmas Advent Markets which are held every weekend until Christmas.

The Adventmarkets are host to numerous stalls with hand made crafts, decorations, culinary delights and confectionary.

There are musical performances, cultural celebrations, story telling, craft demonstrations, and visits from St Nikolaus.

Naturally on every corner you will find wonderful huts selling Gluhwein, beer, spicy fruit drinks and a selection of Austrian snacks which can be enjoyed whilst gathering around well placed open fires with Christmas music gently playing in the background.

Warm fires at the Adventmarket

Newly opened in 2016, Katschberg offers a magical evenings walk into nature with their 2km Advent round-trail high in the Katschberg mountains.  Away from everything and deep in the heart of winter the candlelit trail winds through the valley at an elevation of 1750m.  Enticing stations en-route provide all sorts of seasonal entertainment including a teddy bear hut for the younger visiters, carol singing, live music, story telling and a petting zoo.  A free tea station offers you a warming refreshment as you enjoy the enchanting walk around and back to the Pritzhütte and civilization.

If getting up to Katschberg is a problem, a free shuttlebus is on hand to take you there.  Once on site you can either walk to the starting point, catch another bus or immerse yourself in the magic with a romantic horse drawn carriage.

Katschberg Advent Trail

www.katschberger-adventweg.at

The famous and theatrical Krampuslauf is usually held during the first Advent weekend in December.  A Krampus is a scary creature that helps out St Nikolaus at Christmas time.  They are there to ensure that everyone is too scared to not be well behaved - and if you ever meet a Krampus you will understand why!  The actual Krampuslauf involves around 200 Krampus running through the streets of town often whipping innocent bystanders with their Ruten (a bunch of sticks) whilst St Nikolaus and his Angels hand out sweet treats to the children.  It is quite an experience ....

Krampus

St Michael Krampus Group with St Nikolaus

Krampus

There is a website dedicated to the events, visit:  ADVENTZAUBER

For Information about forthcoming advent exhibitions and events click HERE

Skiing on TschanneckOutside of the markets and exhibitions, Christmas in Austria is very much about family.  Christmas Eve (Heiligabend) is the day when Austrians traditionally put up their Christmas tree and exchange gifts.  On this day midnight mass at the local Church is attended by almost everyone with special services usually held earlier throughout the day for the Children.  The 25th December, is a holiday day where family members gather together and enjoy a large feast of fish and meats.

And of course you can ski.......

The slopes generally open around the second week in December dependant upon the snow conditions.  If you are not concerned about a traditional Christmas, why not swap your turkey and mince pies for a warming meal around a log fire in one of the beautiful alpine huts and celebrate the season by heading out for a leisurely family afternoon on the Piste :o)

Fireworks at New YearIn contrast to the magical Christmas Days, New Year is a much bigger and louder celebration with singing, dancing and fireworks over the mountains lasting into the early hours of New Years Day.  Don't plan on getting much sleep!

 

 

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