Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Around the World no. 6 - Austria


Next up is a Christmas post from Theodora in Austria - they really know how to do Christmas over there! Thank you Theodora!

Christmas is, without a doubt, my favourite time of the year, it's just as magical as it was when I was little. Vienna is beautiful in December, there are Christmas decorations and lights everywhere. Sometimes you walk through tiny forests of Christmas trees. Most children (and many adults) have an advent calendar and on each Sunday we light another candle of the Advent wreath.

There are many Christmas markets all over town where people gather to drink mulled wine or punch and buy random Christmassy stuff.


Christmas cookies are obviously very important, especially gingerbread men.
Austrian children believe in the Christkind, that's baby Jesus. When they go to bed on the 23rd, the Christkind starts its work: The tree is brought in and decorated with real candles and wooden decorations and stars made of straw. A nativity set is placed underneath the tree.

On the 24th, the living room is taboo and children mustn't go inside so as not to disturb the Christkind at its work. As soon as it gets dark, children can hear a tiny bell ring: That's the signal that the Christkind has finished its work and that they're allowed to go to the living room. The candles on the tree are lit, everyone sings "Stille Nacht " ("Silent Night") and other carols.
My family and I still celebrate Christmas like this because it's just so much more fun. We don't have a big dinner on the 24th because the evening is supposed to be as stress-free as possible. We play boardgames and read books and talk.

Frohe Weihnachten!




  1. I so love the cookies! Cute :D Merry Christmas to you :)


  2. christmas in austria is awesome! my post is coming, but it's about epiphany, not christmas ;) but probably one of the most important christmas days in Spain!


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