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General Comments on Austrian Holidays

Equivalent in English of the Weekdays:
Mo = Montag = Monday; Di=Dienstag=Tuesday; Mi=Mittwoch=Wednesday; Do=Donnerstag= Thursday; Fr=Freitag=Friday; Sa=Samstag=Saturday; So=Sonntag=Sunday

We display in our Austrian calendars the legal holidays. Businesses are then closed, including many restaurants; also pharmacies, except for a few "on duty."

Most holidays have been honored since time immemorial. Because the civic calendar was first instituted in 1582, we do not display any holidays before then, though. Following are the years when we phase in more recent holidays: Allerheiligen 1800; Maifeiertag 1889; and, Nationalfeiertag 1815. These holidays are not shown in our calendars before then.

Holidays and Equivalent in English
Neujahrstag New Years Day
Heilige Drei Könige Epiphany (Holy Three Magi)
Karfreitag Good Friday
Ostern Easter - Sunday, Monday
Mai-Feiertag Labor Day
Christi Himmelfahrt Ascension Day
Pfingsten Pentecost (Whitsunday+Whitmonday)
Fronleichnam Corpus Christi
Nationalfeiertag National Holiday
Maria Himmelfahrt Assumption
Allerheiligen All Saints Day
Maria Empfängnis Immaculate Conception
Weihnachten Christmas Day
Stephanstag St. Stephan's Day

In addition to the above fourteen holidays being observed, each business agrees with the employees on their Ruhetage (additional days of rest), which the emplyees get off, while the business is closed. This is true also for many restaurants.

Portions of Austria straddling the eastern Alps, the economy has a more than thousand-year tradition of intensiv crossalpine commerce and trade. Modern tourism may seem like an extension of this tradition. Much of the traffic is directly affected by the tides of foreign tourism, especially during German school vacations and holidays. So is the somewhat weather-dependent weekend traffic.

Truck traffic is prohibited on weekends and holidays. There are many Mautstraßen (toll roads), which help reduce excessive motor traffic. Yet, the major pass roads and Autobahnen can become slow, indeed. See the last paragraph above.

Consistently with Austria being one of Europe's most distinguished cultural centers, the magnitude of the influx of students of all ages attracted can get to be impressive. When planning his trip, a tourist might be well adviced to check ahead whether one of the unique popular events, such as Salzburger Festspiele, might affect his schedule.

Participation in the Corpus Christi processions would seem to include a majority of towns folks in cities, towns, and villages on this day. It is fitting to plan this day with care.

Christmas eve is off, all afternoon, for most employees and churches are open for service.

Except for the Austrian Nationalfeiertag, the Austrian holidays are observed also in Südtirol (South Tyrol), which is an autonomous Province on the Italian side of the Brenner and Reschen passes. Südtirol enjoys close trade and cultural ties with Austria in general, Nordtirol (Austrian Tyrol) in particular, as well as with northern Italy.

Change to and from summer time: These two Sundays are marked peru brown in our calendars. Notice that for the spring date, the last Sunday in March is assumed to continue beyond 1997, which is yet uncertain as of this writing (20.10.97).

Wir wünschen Ihnen gute Reise
und angenehmen Aufenthalt im schönen Österreich!

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