Traditions in Upper Austria
Vibrant Cultural Life on the Farms - Preserving Local Customs
Traditions which date back centuries, characteristic farmhouse architecture, iconic garments, traditional handicrafts and colourful festivities come to live here. Farms have often been passed down from one generation to the next for centuries. They have unique stories to tell. Each region in Upper Austria has its characteristic local customs. Folklore, dialects and music are expressions that are closely connected to the way that locals interact with their natural surroundings. Welcome to a fascinating cultural trip through Upper Austria! Come and meet the locals, hosts and farmers.
Farms Are Sanctuaries of Heritage Skills
Have you ever mowed grass using a scythe? Have you ever baked bread in a wood-fired stove? Would you learn how to felt wool or weave a basket? Do you admire the beautiful abundance of flowers around the farmhouses? Certain skills and techniques have been passed down from one generation to the next. The farmers are keen on preserving this cultural heritage. A farm holiday is your chance to take a look behind the scenes. Perhaps you can take home a piece of traditional knowledge and heritage skills!
Quality & Trust
A land of plenty
Upper Austria - diverse culture, cuisine, natural gems & relaxation
A warm welcome
on our family farms with friendly, genuine and down-to-earth hosts
Careful & safe
Your health is our utmost priority
What we can learn from our ancestors
Drying fruit, grinding flour, baking bread and processing wood from the forest - the owners of the historic farm Kaspergut put an emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, local customs and the use of their own resources. They carefully restored the heritage buildings. There's a cabin in the garden used for drying fruit, a wood-fired oven, a historic mill in the attic and a sawmill. Not to forget the vintage tractors.
On a farm stay in the renovated hayloft, you can get to know a diverse set of traditions, warm-hearted hosts and special animals. After all, this farm is dedicated to preserving native livestock breeds. Take a break and enjoy the joys of simple living. Farmer Johann is convinced: “The simpler life is, the less stressful it is!”
Upper Austria - A Land Rich in Culture
LET US TAKE YOU ACROSS THE PROVINCE
Upper Austria is diverse, colourful and rich in tradition. Every season comes with special events and festivities that are rooted in history - jolly, contemplative or lively. Our recommendation: Mingle with the locals!
In the Salzkammergut region, parades of men and women wearing colourful illuminated caps bring in the New Year. This event is called “Glöcklerlauf”. Jolly carnival parades such as the “Ebenseer Fetzenzug” are lively get-togethers. The “Sunday of Love”, known as “Liebstattsonntag” in German, is a highlight during Lent. Celebrated in Gmunden, for example, people give each other gingerbread hearts decorated with creative slogans. Travel back in time in Bad Ischl. In August, it’s all about the former Emperor Franz Josef I.’s birthday! It’s autumn when the cattle - colourfully decorated - returns from the alpine pastures and everyone gets together to celebrate. This event is called “Almabtrieb”. A kirmess takes place in a lot of villages.
In the Kalkalpen National Park region, it’s customary to erect a maypole at the eve of 1 May. Do you love traditional garments or “Tracht”, as we say? In August, visitors from all corners of the country get together in Windischgarsten to celebrate the lederhosen, Austria’s most famous traditional garment. A marvellous sight: bonfires that are lit on the mountains to celebrate summer solstice. In winter, you can take a peaceful stroll through Steinbach an der Steyr, a town known for its Christmas decorations.
CELEBRATing SPECIAL MOMENTS
Handicraft market for traditional indigo blue-dyed textiles in Gutau (“Färbermarkt”), weavers’ market in Haslach an der Mühl (“Webermarkt”), herb kirmess in Klaffer am Hochficht (“Kräuterkirtag”) - the Mühlviertel region is a hotspot of traditional craftsmanship. Travel back in time at the medieval festival at the castle ruins of Waxenberg (“Ritterfest”).
Musicians are at home in the Innviertel-Hausruckwald region. Austrian folk music is popular among the young and the young at heart! “Innviertler Landler” - a traditional dance, “Aspacher Gstanzlsingen” - a special form of singing humorous rhymes, “Woodstock der Blasmusik” - the Woodstock festival for modern and traditional brass bands - people love singing, dancing and making music together. In the theatre play “Frankenburger Würfelspiel” (“Frankenburger Dice Game”) , you are taken back to a tragic episode of local history.
Discover and enjoy the Christmas markets in Linz, Zentralraum region. Twice a year, the vibrant fair “Urfahraner Jahrmarkt” invites you to have fun. Linz is the ideal destination for a culture holiday. Choose from numerous theatre plays, operas and concerts!
Reviving Old Traditions on a Historic Farm
The owners of the historic farm Kaspergut are reviving old traditions. The farmhouse is listed as a cultural heritage. It was carefully restored using antique finds, custom-made details and, most of all, dedication! The farmers put an emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, local customs and the use of their own resources. A small cabin in the garden is used for drying fruit. There’s a wood-fired oven to bake bread, a historic mill in the attic and a sawmill. Not to forget the vintage tractors. Set out on a discovery! For farmer Johann, it’s important to keep local customs and traditions alive.
A FARM IS A SPECIAL PLACE
Architectural styles and agricultural practices form a harmonious blend that’s characteristic for a region. So-called “Stoabloß-Höfe” are emblematic of the Mühlviertel region. These traditional farmhouses are made of granite blocks with walls only partially plastered in a bright white colour. Impressively large four-sided farmyards (“Vierkanthöfe”) are the eyecatchers in the Zentralraum region. In the Salzkammergut region, traditional timberwork and balconies with beautiful woodcarvings make for excellent photographs. You can often see chapels next to the farmhouses. In May, it’s customary to hold devotions honouring Mary, mother of God. The sacred corner, a type of home altar with devotional objects, is an inherent part of any traditional living room in a farmhouse.
Customs & Traditions on the Farm
THE Four SEASONS
Spring on the farm is bursting with colour. Candlemas (2 February) marks the end of Christmas time. It smells of “Krapfen”? These types of doughnuts filled with jam are a must-have during carnival. The “fifth season” as it’s called here comes with plenty of jolly parades and costumes. The “Ebenseer Fetzenzug”, a traditional carnival parade in the Salzkammergut region, is inscribed on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Definitely worth a visit! With Lent, the period of fasting, it’s getting more quiet and contemplative on the farms. When people fasten natural materials to colourful bouquets (the so-called “Palmbuschen”), bake sweet braded pastries, go ratcheting and make Easter egg hunts, it’s Easter! Nature is bursting back into life in the merry month of May. May devotions at the chapels next to the farmhouses, Mother’s Day or maypole celebrations are popular customs.
As summer approaches, a lot of work needs to be done in the fields and on the meadows. But there’s still time to celebrate. At summer solstice, people get together and light a bonfire. In Hallstatt, Zell am Moos and other villages in the Salzkammergut region, musicians play peaceful hymns as they glide across the lake in wooden boats. This tradition is called “Weisenblasen”. The custom of gathering and blessing herbs in August is popular across the country. So is the traditional kirmess. Curious? Take part in one of these events!
Admire the wonderful colours of autumn and join in local customs. Saying “thank you” for the rich harvest and the abundance of food is at the centre of Thanksgiving. The farmers are happy to have their cattle return from the alpine pastures safe and sound. That’s why the animals wear colourful decorations. Farmers pickle, can and ferment fruits and vegetables - for a colourful and diversified diet during the cold season. Get on horseback! In lots of villages, horse riders ride to a specific place to ask for God’s blessings for their horses. This horse parade is called “Leonhardiritt” in honour of Saint Leonard, the patron saint of horses. Everyone knows jack-o’-lanterns, the carved pumpkin lanterns popular on Halloween. In the Salzkammergut region, turnip lanterns have been part of the local folklore for centuries.
Oh, what a wonderful Christmas time! How peaceful and magical. The smell of home-made biscuits and cookies makes your childhood memories come alive. Look at the fascinating and yet scary wood-carved masks at the mystical processions of “Perchten”, devilish figures. Join the farmers as they burn incense around the Twelve Days of Christmas (“Räuchern”) - a blessing for joy and good health for animals and humans. As you listen to familiar carols such as “Silent Night” and look at the bright candles on the Christmas tree, you know that Christmas is here. The fireworks on New Year’s Eve are not the only noisy tradition. In Linz, the locals are “driving the winter away” by whip-cracking on 1 January. This tradition is called “Aperschnalzen”. On 7 January, the Epiphany singers walk from one house to the next to raise money for people in need across the globe.
Get familiar with all these local customs and traditions during your farm holiday in Upper Austria! Immerse yourself in local folklore and enjoy fascinating moments!