What’s On Guide Austria
Because we love Austria, and we love winter events even more, we have spent the last month putting together this comprehensive guide: What’s On Guide Austria. From world class ski events to traditional annual festivals, this little guide is everything you need to know about what’s cool in the alps this season.
Something for the Ski-lovers…
Jan 3: Innsbruck – Bergisel Ski Jump
Every year Innsbruck hosts the 3rd event in the Four Hills Tournament – the Bergisel Ski Jump. Now in its 66th year, the nine day event is held in four locations in Austria and Germany. As always the four events will be located at Oberstdorf on December 29 and 30, at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on December 31 and January 1, at Innsbruck on January 3 and 4, before finally finishing at Bischofshofen on January 6. The Four Hills Tournament is renowned as hosting Europe’s premiere ski jump event so if you’ve ever wanted to watch a skier fly through the air, this event is not to be missed!
Jan 14-21: Kitzbühel – Red Bull 73rd Hahnenkamm Race
If you only go to one event in the Alps this winter, make sure it’s this one! Streif Ganslernhang is once again home to the international Hahnenkamm Race, the most spectacular event in the Ski World Cup. The week kicks off with the international Junior Race on January 14. This is then followed by days of world-class competitions, award ceremonies and numerous side events in Kitzbühel’s historic town centre. It promises to be a phenomenal show for a massive 85,000 spectators.
Jan 8-12: Ischgl – Shapes in White
This event will see Ischgl’s Silvretta Arena transformed into an impressive open-air gallery with gigantic objects d’art decorating the pistes. During the four day event art fans and snow-lovers alike can observe artists creating everything from snow cars to snow castles. The masterpieces will sit proudly on the slopes right through until April when the snow finally melts…
Feb 5: Kaprun – Night of the Balloons
Giant hot air balloons bathe Kaprun in a sea of colour on the Night of the Balloons. This is one of the highlights on the region’s calendar and will hold thousands of spectators spellbound. The evening also sees the region’s ski and snowboard coaches showing off their skills in acrobatic formations. Drinks, fireworks, motor-cross shows and music all add to the event but the glowing balloons floating across the night sky are what make it truly special.
Dec 5: Throughout Austria – Krampus Run
While St. Nicholas goes from house to house bringing presents to children who have been good over the year, the Krampuses carry birch rods and large cow bells and are said to beat the naughty ones. The Krampuslauf is an old tradition in the Bavarian and Austrian Alpine region. Every year around December 5 the noisy Krampuses are guided through the streets by St. Nicholas who rings his bell to drive off evil spirits. Their elaborate costumes are made of sheep and goat skins and their masks are expertly handcrafted. These scary Alpine characters still follow every one of St. Nicholas’ commands – despite their taste for chaos. Whether you’ve been good or bad this year, the Krampus Run is not to be missed!
Dec 25: Zell am See – Dipping the Christmas Tree
It might be one of the less known annual Alpine Christmas festivities but on December 25 every year a majestic fir tree is submerged in the icy cold waters of ‘Oberschneidbucht’. A ring of swimming torchbearers then swim out to heave the tree safely back onto dry ground (quite why, we are not sure). True to style, Father Christmas will be on hand to visit the children in a boat!
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